Channel 4 and Bradford Council announce new partnership to develop new generation of film and documentary makers

It lays claim to be among the most diverse and youthful cities in the UK, bringing a strong Asian influence to the eastern foothills of the Pennines.

Bradford whose multiculturalism is wrapped around its sandstone Georgian architecture, is now set to be given a platform to showcase its famous diversity to a national audience.

A new partnership was announced last night between Channel 4 and Bradford Council to develop a new generation of film and documentary makers.

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The broadcaster, which launched a new national headquarters in Leeds last year, has been confirmed as the lead partner in the Bradford Screen Strategy, which will nurture new talent and establish a creative hub for the screen industry.

Film maker Rich Warburton at the Pictureville cinema at The National Science and Media Museum in Bradford for a new film project highlighting the culture and society of the city.

Channel 4’s managing director for nations and regions, Sinead Rocks, said: “Since we set up our new national HQ in Yorkshire, we have been building relationships with organisations across the region to help develop the creative industries and support diverse talent.

“We look forward to being an active partner in this strategy that will grow the screen sector across Bradford, provide opportunities for diverse talent, and create a joined-up approach to education and skills.”

Bradford Council’s executive member for healthy people and places, Coun Sarah Ferriby, added that the new initiative would aim to capitalise on the “incredible filmmaking talent” already in the West Yorkshire district.

Bradford has emerged as an epicentre for the Yorkshire’s burgeoning film and television industry, with the updated version of The Railway Children being filmed in the district which has also been used for other dramas including Victoria, Downton Abbey and Peaky Blinders.

The new partnership with Channel 4 was announced last night at the world premieres of six new short films at Bradford’s National Science and Media Museum.

The Make:Film initiative saw filmmakers given the task to challenge perceptions and celebrate the diversity of the Bradford district, and a total of 37 original pieces were commissioned and created.

More than a fifth of the district’s 534,300-strong population are of Pakistani ethnic origin, which is the highest proportion in England.

Meanwhile, nearly 24 per cent of the population are aged under 16 compared with just under 19 per cent nationally, making Bradford the youngest city in the UK.

The six short films, which focus on a range of topics from food to religion and Asian culture, were chosen for the launch event, and further films will be available at free screenings over the coming weekend.

The screenings take place in the same week that Bradford officially submitted its intention to bid for UK City of Culture 2025 to the Government on Monday.

Bradford 2025’s bid director, Richard Shaw, said: “Seeing Bradford through the eyes of these filmmakers gives us incredible perspective and the possibility of being able to appreciate aspects to this district that we may have previously not known.

“We are privileged to have such a rich source of inspiration here and I hope that everyone enjoys how these fantastic producers, editors and makers have brought their stories to life.”

Also opening at the National Science and Media Museum today is Sound Season, which is made up of two new exhibitions, Sonic: Adventures in Audio and Boom: Experiments in Sound alongside a programme of interactive installations and events.