UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, has announced the designation of 47 cities from 33 countries as new members of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. The results of this year’s Call bears witness to the Network’s enhanced diversity and geographical representation with 22 cities from countries not previously represented. Read the full list of new cities here
Joining the network as UNESCO Cities of Film are: Rome (Italy), Santos (Brazil) and Bitola (Macedonia)– Rome and Santos have been working with Bradford City of Film in their approach to the application.
Bradford (UK) became the world’s first UNESCO City of Film in 2009. This is a permanent title which bestows international recognition on Bradford as a world centre for film because of the city’s rich film heritage, its inspirational movie locations and its many celebrations of the moving image through the city’s film festivals and film related events. As Bradford City of Film Director, David Wilson explains, been a Creative City is not just about the glamour of the film industry, though Bradford also has a good share of that as well. ‘We try to use the creative approach in many areas of society, teaching literacy in our schools using film has proved to be very effective and so has the use of archive film to work with people who live with dementia. The University of Bradford and Bradford College have both developed excellent TV and Film production courses over that past few years and of course the City is home to the UK’s National Museum for Film & Television, The National Media Museum.’ Mr Wilson, who was invited to speak recently at the Rome International Film Festival went on to say, ‘we have already enjoyed some great dialogue with the new film cities as they prepared their applications to UNESCO. Representatives from a number of Creative Cities attended the Bradford International Film Summit in March 2015 and saw first hand how we are supporting more production in the Yorkshire region but also learned how we use film effectively in the classroom to improve literacy. Through a series of Skype conversations with Santos in Brazil and my recent visit to Rome I was also able to learn a lot about other initiatives that we can share in the future, some for the good of the community and some to improve how we work with the film & TV sector. There is also much more scope for collaboration on film festivals and film events for learning. We already enjoy good working relationships with the existing UNESCO film cities; Galway, Sydney, Busan and Sofia and the inclusion of the new cities in the network gives us even more scope to share good practice.