When Bradford’s hot shots hit Wembley

Film maker and musician David Nowakowski, left, with David Wilson, director-Bradford UNESCO City of Film.
Film maker and musician David Nowakowski, left, with David Wilson, director-Bradford UNESCO City of Film.
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A LOWER-league football team getting to two Wembley finals in a matter of months is a story worthy of a movie script.

Now one Bradford City fan has helped to turn his team’s incredible achievement into a short film with the help of social media and more than 1,000 cameramen and directors.

The movie, which has been pieced together entirely from mobile phone clips sent in by supporters, is set to be screened at Bradford’s National Media Museum next month.

The Bantams made sporting history last season when they got to Wembley not once but twice.

Against all the odds the League Two side won through to the final of the League Cup, seeing off three-top flight teams along the way.

Although City lost in the final they were to enjoy a triumphant return months later in the League Two play-off final, which they won to secure promotion.

Realising that he was witnessing history in the making, Bradford City fan and professional musician David Nowakowski decided to try to capture the moment.

The 28-year-old from the Wibsey area of the city is a member of the band Scars on 45, based in Minneapolis, and he watched the League Cup Final over the internet from the United States.

He said: “The thing that struck me was how amazing the City fans were and I thought to myself if we ever get to a Wembley final again I would like to do something to catch the moment from the fans’ perspective.”

Mr Nowakowski thought he may have to wait years for the chance to do so but later that season his team secured a return to the national stadium.

He said: “We put an appeal out through websites and social media for people to send us their clips of the day, from waking up to going to bed. I was overwhelmed with the response.

“ We had 1,000 clips sent in from people and not just from Bradford, from Ireland, people watching in a bar in Hong Kong. There are clips from inside the ground and at the end with the trophy and bus tour in Centenary Square. I approached this as a social media experiment but it has turned out to be something really rather special.”

It has been edited together with the help of the film school in Minneapolis where Mr Nowakowski now lives. “It started as an hour long and we have been able to edit it down, first of all to 30 minutes and now to 15 minutes, which I think is perfect.”

The project has been supported by the National Media Museum and David Wilson, who is director of Bradford Unesco City of Film.

He said: “This is a real meeting of hearts and minds, using new technology and social networks to assemble a 1,000-strong team of film-makers which was then skilfully crafted together as evidence of this great sporting achievement.

“My concern the whole way through was about the quality of the film. Obviously a lot of it has been shot by mobiles and some of the footage is better quality than others. I said to David that it might be something that will just work on YouTube but when we watched it back we realised it was much better than that. We realised that it deserved a big screening, which is why we are showing it at the National Media Museum and hopefully it might also get shown on the big screen in the centre of Bradford as well.

“What appealed to me about this project is that we were making the most of new technology.

“Everyone has the ability to capture footage now with the devices they carry around with them in their pocket. This is a film which has more than 1,000 different directors taking their shots.”

Mr Nowakowski said: “I am a professional musician, I have never done anything like this before. The support of David Wilson has been brilliant.

“He has been like a mentor to me over this project and for it to be screened at the National Media Museum is fantastic. I just want as many people as possible to be able to watch it.”

The short film will be screened on Friday, December 6 with Nebraska at 5.40pm and again on Saturday, December 21 with It’s a Wonderful Life at 11.40am and again with the same film on Boxing Day at 5pm.