THE latest in a series of films promoting independent businesses in Shipley and Saltaire is planned this spring.

The area known as the 'Shipley Smile' is the focus of two films highlighting the independent scene of bars, restaurants, shops, and other businesses including a yoga class and an escape room.

Saltaire/Shipley Smile Part I and II, released in December and January, are the brainchild of Shipley film-maker Christian Hardy. “I wanted to highlight everything local about Shipley and Saltaire area to a wider community,” said Christian, a former artist-in-residence at the National Science and Media Museum. “Our area is one of the best kept secrets in Yorkshire. Our pub culture is booming and we’re hoping that with a bit of a push independent businesses will flourish once more."

The films showcase established and new businesses and scenic locations. Christian filmed business owners, giving them each a 30-second clip. “It's the perfect time to highlight a business as it keeps people interested while they’re scrolling through social media," said Christian. "Our clips have a lot of heart and soul."

The films also feature drone footage of the area, and a soundtrack called Catch the Smile by local musician Russ Graves and his band Rocus, paying tribute to the likes of Sir Titus Salt and landmarks such as Shipley clocktower. The film title was inspired by a stretch of road known as the 'Shipley Smile'. "The A657 bends like a smile over the mile connecting Shipley and Saltaire,” said Christian, who runs The Alchemy Studio, providing film, graphic motion and photography services.

Now he's working with screenwriter and film producer Adam Bosworth on a spring edition of Saltaire Shipley Smile, due for release at the end of March. "We have a number of companies involved, including the Yorkshire Music school in Saltaire," said Christian, who wants the films shown in cinemas.

Councillor Vick Jenkins (Shipley Labour) said “This project is exactly what Shipley/Saltaire has been waiting for, someone like Christian to highlight the amazing independent places to visit, shop and drink in, and join the dots from Shipley centre to Saltaire. We have so much to smile about here but we're too good at keeping it a secret. The richness of businesses and projects are treated so beautifully by Christian, and the characters of people who've worked so hard to make them a success really shine through.”

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