A LOVE story about a Catholic grandmother and a young Asian man, filmed in Bradford, has been premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.

Ali & Ava is written and directed by Bafta-nominated Clio Barnard, who based the story on people she met in Bradford while making her previous films, The Arbor and The Selfish Giant.

Described as a tender contemporary love story, Ali & Ava was filmed on Holme Wood estate, with local people appearing as extras. Holme Wood actor Shaun Thomas, who made his film debut in The Selfish Giant (2013), about two young scrap metal dealers, has a lead role and graduates from the University of Bradford worked with the crew. Other locations include Undercliffe Cemetery, Bradford Cathedral grounds, Laisterdyke and Tong.

Starring Bafta winning actor Adeel Akhtar, who was in hit Netflix drama Stranger Things, and Claire Rushbrook, whose work includes TV's Black Mirror, Ali & Ava is about a woman in her 50s, from an Irish-Catholic background who hides the scars of an abusive ex-husband, and a charismatic DJ 20 years younger, who is keeping a secret from his family. Both lonely, but optimistic, they start a relationship that's at odds with expectations of their families and communities.

The Bradford UNESCO City of Film team worked with producers and during filming the crew was based in a Little Germany property. City of Film director David Wilson said: "We worked with Incommunities and residents in Holme Wood, where a semi-detached house was used for filming.

“Ali & Ava is very much a Bradford film; local people have been involved in making it, as well as being in it, and we provided graduates’ CVs.

"Despite all the upheaval caused by the pandemic for film festivals and continued production, it's so good to hear that Clio Barnard's Ali & Ava was screened at Cannes and has got such positive reviews.

"This is very much a Bradford film, with some great locations from across the district. It has been quite a long journey and the Bradford Film Office have played a role throughout, providing space for initial script read-throughs, location support and other office support behind the scenes.

"It was a great privilege for me to be invited on set and see Clio at work in a house that we helped to secure as one of the main character's homes.

"I was fortunate to work with Clio on The Selfish Giant and I'm a huge fan of her approach to storytelling. To know that this story and with it, the backdrop of Bradford, will be shared on cinema screens across the world in a positive and uplifting film is very rewarding for all involved."

Otley-born Clio’s debut film, The Arbor, about writer Andrea Dunbar, was shot on Buttershaw estate. The Selfish Giant was filmed in Odsal and Buttershaw and her third film, Dark River, was shot around Skipton.