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Bradford Film Festival director spells out his ambition at gala opening night
The director of Bradford’s National Media Museum spelled out his ambition to create the “best film festival outside London” at the opening gala of the 17th annual Bradford International Film Festival last night.
Guests from the film and media industry were given the red carpet treatment at a Champagne reception at the museum ahead of a gala preview of Woody Allen’s new film in the Pictureville Cinema.
Over the next 12 days, the museum will show 198 films, from 31 countries – including UK, European and world premieres – and attract film-makers and leading industry figures from across the globe.
Speaking at the black-tie gala, National Media Museum (NMM) director Colin Philpott said: “Our ambition for this festival is to make it the best in England outside London.
“Like other national museums, we have to take a 15 per cent cut in Government funding and you can’t have those kinds of cuts without it having an impact. We will have to make some changes but we are in no way going to reduce our ambitions.”
This year’s festival includes a mini horror festival, widescreen classics, films made in Bradford, and silent movie screenings accompanied by live music.
Maverick film-maker Terry Gilliam will receive the festival’s Lifetime Achievement award on Saturday and veteran actress Claire Bloom looks back on a 60-year career with a retrospective of her work. The 17th festival opened last night with Woody Allen’s new film You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, starring Sir Anthony Hopkins, Naomi Watts and Antonio Banderas.
Tony Earnshaw, who has been the festival’s artistic director for the past 12 years, said: “It really has grown and evolved. It is a very different festival now to what it was when it started because of the number and calibre of the films.
“Initially, we had a regional reputation, then we had a British reputation and our reputation now is genuinely international.”
- Read the full story in Thursday's T&A