Regarded a one of the UK’s most consistently innovative screen events during it’s almost 20 year run, The Bradford International Film Festival was a hugely popular film festival which had a huge impact not just on the film industry of the local area, but the entire UK. The festival presented hundreds of new and classic films, and included premieres, definitive retrospectives tributes, and special guests every year, giving filmmakers and fans the opportunity to meet the people behind their favourite movies. There was also a competition for European feature films, the Shine Short Film Award, and the Widescreen Weekend.
The aims of the annual Bradford International Film Festival were outlined as follows:
To showcase distinctive new films, with an emphasis on integrity and artistic vision.
To provide an interface between visitors and the industry.
To enhance the industry and public understandings of film culture and film history.
To create convivial events that foster exchanges of ideas.
The festival managed to slowly carve itself a reputation as a well-regarded event on the national and international circuit. With a number of significant premieres during its history – include a widely publicised UK premiere of Chris Morris’ Four Lions in 2010 – the festival also welcomed numerous guests over the years including Kenneth Branagh, Brian Cox, Ken Loach, Richard Attenborough, John Hurt, and Terry Gilliam amongst many others. The festival was also seen as a key component in helping Bradford being named the very first UNESCO City of Film.
The final year of the festival was 2015 (the 20th anniversary of the festival), although we’d like to see it return one day we’re just happy that it happened!