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Bollywood Carmen 'was massive success for city'
6:00am Tuesday 20th August 2013 in News
A live film production of Bollywood Carmen in Bradford gave the city a huge boost, newly-released facts and figures show.
The show, which was performed in City Park on June 9 and aired live on BBC Three, was a production of Bizet’s opera Carmen performed in a Bollywood style. It formed part of Bradford’s celebrations marking 100 years of Indian cinema.
Its production and the run-up to the show saw a wide range of Bradford-based businesses, groups and organisations get involved.
David Wilson, of Bradford UNESCO City of Film, said the Director General of the BBC, Lord Tony Hall, attended the event and was very impressed by Bradford’s approach to the project.
Mr Wilson said: “Bradford UNESCO City of Film worked with colleagues from BBC Classical Music initially and then with the wider BBC to help to develop the project with a range of partners across the Bradford district and beyond.”
He said Bradford Council and the events team “in particular played a big role in helping to deliver this ambitious project”.
He added: “The enthusiasm and willingness to make it work have been commented on by the BBC, whether it was the security staff at City Hall to the cleansing team and everyone else who played their part, the project was a true example of collaboration on many levels and with spectacular results.”
Facts and figures from the event show that by June 9 about 110 rooms were booked for production and crew members at three Bradford hotels – the Midland, Jury’s Inn and the Hilton.
Mr Wilson said the hotels offered the same special rate per room and added: “All hotels really wanted to make it happen for Bradford.”
Gary Peacock, general manager of the Midland, said: “There has been a visible increase in TV crews delighted at the flexibility and dependability of the city’s offering and its people and representatives.
“The financial impact to the city, and especially its retail and tourism industry, is real and measurable with extra bed nights, restaurant meals and drinks, and spend in local shops by hundreds if not thousands who have attended events.”
Students from the University of Bradford and Bradford College were able to put their studying to good use by doing work experience on the project.
Performers from the city involved in the production were Bradford-born actress Rachel Leskovac, described as “a great asset for the production with her enthusiasm and appeal in Bradford”, and music group RDB who opened the show.
Local businesses involved included: Bradford UNESCO City of Film, which helped to broker the production for Bradford from the start; Raise The Roof, which constructed scenery, the stage, lighting towers and camera platforms; Light Media Displays, who provided repeater screens; Ranis of Bradford, which supplied elaborate and expensive wedding dresses with additional fittings; and Alchemy Cultural Brokers and Bradford Cathedral.
Praise was also forthcoming for the Council’s culture and tourism department, its major events team, and City Hall Catering.
The Kala Sangam organisation, Bradford College and the Alhambra provided rehearsal space, while Forster’s Bistro was used as a meeting space.
- There will be a screening of Bollywood Carmen on the big screen in City Park on September 7 at 4pm.
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