Local NGO 'Bristol UNESCO City of Film' is planning a year long festival celebrating the city's major role as a pioneer of film and the moving image. The event, #BristolFilm2021, was announced yesterday with plans for activities showcasing the many ways over the last century and a half Bristol has contributed to the world of film in both technical innovation and as a home to creative talents. It also marks the centenary of the death of the city's colourful pioneers in the field of moving image William Fries-Green.
WHY IS BRISTOL A CITY OF FILM In 2017 the UN organisation UNESCO (United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) designated Bristol as a city of film, along with 18 other world cities that include Rome, Sarajevo, Sydney, and Yamagata. It also became a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) which boats a membership of over 245 cities around the world. Being a member enables Bristol to collaborate with member cities on a variety of cultural creative projects and through artistic exchange programmes shared ideas and skills with other creatives. Here ten top reasons why Bristol is truly the city of film.
- It is the birth place of William Friese-Greene, a pioneer of film technology.
- Bristol is the home to Hollywood icon Cary Grant
- BBC Bristol has a long history of producing radio, drama, and wildlife television from broadcasting house on Whiteladies Road established in 1934 and later the BBC Natural History Unit in 1957.
- Bristol is host to 11 internationally renowned film festivals including Encounters Film Festival attracting audiences and film makers from around the world.
- Believe it or not IMDB was developed here in Bristol. It was created by engineer Col Needham in 1990 working at Hewlett Packard at the time. It started as a personal hobby and has since grown into a major source of film trivia and research.
- The world famous Aardman Animations was established in Bristol in 1972 from which it produced iconic animation characters Morph, Wallace and Gromit, and a host of feature films in partnership with Dreamworks Animation.
- The city's oldest theatre Bristol Old Vic is home to a troupe of famous actions and filmmakers who graduated from it's theatre school. Some of its most famous alumni include Daniel Day-Lewis, Naomie Harris, Olivia Coleman, and Sir Patrick Stewart.
- Academic institutions the University of West of England (UWE) and Bristol University offer around 30 film - related degrees.
- Bristol is home to Bottle Yard Studios , the largest film production in the West of England.
- Many television series and feature films are filmed in Bristol, including 'Poldark' and 'His Dark Materials' as well as the romantic comedy 'Truly Madly Deeply' and 'Hellboy (2019)'
"What better way to mark the achievements of Bristol’s film and moving image sector today than by shining the spotlight on a pioneer of the past who devised ground-breaking developments in motion picture technology. The ripples of Friese-Green’s work were felt by the film industry in the UK and across the globe. With projects like the CAMERA Innovation Motion Capture Studio at The Bottle Yard now opening up possibilities of mo-cap technology to businesses, Bristol continues to break new ground today." - Natalie Moore, Bristol City of Film
No date has been set due to the pandemic but hopes are held that the government's road map out of lockdown will see cinemas and exhibition halls in the UK open by the summer. For more information visit the Bristol City of Film website, or find them on social media;
Twitter - @BristolFilmCity
Facebook - @bristolcityoffilm#BristolFilm2021
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