Hollywood, Bollywood meet Bradford: "City of Film"

Fri Jun 12, 2009 12:58pm EDT
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By Paul Lauener

LONDON (Reuters) - Bradford, an industrial city in the north of England, has been named the world's first "City of Film" by the United Nations, ahead of more immediately famous movie capitals such as Hollywood or Cannes.

UNESCO, the United Nations' cultural arm, said it was awarding Bradford the title on the basis of its historic links to the production and distribution of films, its media and film museum and its "cinematographic legacy."

The honor may be a surprise to many as Bradford, previously known as the "wool capital of the world," is probably best known as a city of around 500,000 people that was once a center of the industrial revolution.

"Becoming the world's first City of Film is the ultimate celebration of Bradford's established and dynamic history in film and media," said Colin Philpott, director of Bradford's highly regarded National Media Museum.

"With the UNESCO City of Film designation, Bradford will now go on to achieve inspirational projects in film."

While not as glamorous as Los Angeles or the French Riviera, Bradford does have a strong tie to cinema and film.

It has been the location for several movies including "Yanks," starring Richard Gere, and "The Railway Children," a 1970s classic about the tribulations of Victorian children whose father goes missing.

Monty Python's ground-breaking "The Meaning of Life" and the controversial hit "Rita, Sue and Bob Too," about a married man who cannot choose between two teenage lovers, were also filmed in the city.   Continued...

<p>A lone policeman stands in the street in Bradford, northern England November 21, 2005. REUTERS/Stringer</p>