WHEN a call went out for people to make a short film about life in Bradford, the idea was to challenge perceptions of the district and celebrate its diversity.

The response to the Make:Film project has been impressive, with a range of stories and documentaries exploring the communities, cultures, landscapes and people that make up the Bradford district. Some films were made using hi-tech equipment, others simply on a mobile phone.

Make: Film, a Bradford Council initiative, provided grants of either £1,000 or £4,000 to local film-makers. The selected projects were chosen by a panel of representatives from the council and partners including Bradford 2025, Bradford UNESCO City of Film and the National Science and Media Museum.

A total of 37 films were commissioned and created, and six of them will be premiered on the big screen tonight, at the National Science and Media Museum. Further films will be available to view at free screenings taking place there this weekend.

The films being screened tonight are:

* Lights of Bradford by Hungarian film-maker Donnie Horvath, who came to study in the city and stayed to make it his home.

Donnie’s film features sweeping aerial shots from across the district, before focussing in on faith and food to show Bradford as an “accepting, multi-cultural melting pot”.

* Mushy Peas to Green Tea Kulfi by award-winning producer Thea Burrows, a heart-warming fictional story following the evolving life of a take-away, as told to camera by a local resident.

* I Don’t Want To Be 5 by Bradford-based director Jax Griffin and songwriter Dan McGlade. The film allows viewers to accompany a father and daughter on their walk to school for the first time. Animation by artist and animator Lou Sumray illustrates the emotions felt by both in this playful short film.

* Round My Way by Yorkshire-based Static Flow Productions. The personalities and characteristics of Bradfordians young and old are the stars of this film, which follows a paper girl on her rounds, checking in on her regulars and hearing their stories.

* The Branches are Hope, The Roots are Memory by independent film-maker and editor Sema Basharan. The documentary builds an aural history of Bradford’s religious diversity, peace heritage and grassroots activism. Sema overlays contrasting opinions of activists from across the district.

* From Sunrise to Sunset in the Cold and the Heat by film-maker Faiza Shaikh. Two cities, Bradford and Karachi, and their creative communities, sit side by side. Comparing and celebrating the artists, dancers and inventiveness of each city, the film highlights the distinctive flavour of each place.

The screenings take place in the week that Bradford officially submitted its intention to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to bid for UK City of Culture 2025.

Bradford 2025 bid director Richard Shaw said: “Seeing Bradford through the eyes of these film-makers gives us incredible perspective and the possibility of being able to appreciate aspects to this district that we may have previously not known.

“We are privileged to have such a rich source of inspiration here and I hope that everyone enjoys how these fantastic producers, editors and makers have brought their stories to life.”

Films awarded £4,000 include: The Beckoning Fair One by Julian Butler; And Their Song Mingles With The Moonlight by Kamal Hussain; All Inclusive by Nina Farooqui; Holme Grown by Outloud Ltd; HEGIRA (Emigration) by Pishdaad Modaressi Chahardehi; 55 Years by Reel Street Films; Bradford a Love Letter by Static Flow Productions; Viv of the Dump by Tanya Vital; Mushy Peas to Green Tea Kulfi by Thea Burrows.

Those awarded £1,000 include: The Strange Story of the Laughing Salmon of Knowledge of Bradford by Armchair Painting Group; Bradford in the Frame by Bradford Movie Makers; The Faces of the People of Bradford by Carolyn Mendelsohn; Out of the Woods by Dance United Yorkshire; Lights Out in Little Germany by Freedom Studios; The Is Our City by Heifer Productions CIC; Ilkley in Lockdown by Ilkley Manor House Trust; Stories Behind the Squares; Bradford a Fascinating City! (Then and Now) by Joanne Crowther; This Life & This Life (The Bradford Life) by Kascarade; Muslim Women in Prison by Kimia Modaressi Chahardehi; Ruth & Safiya by Louisa Rose Mackleston; Colin (the very ambitious Crab by Matthew Broadbent; Better Must Come Pt 1 by MOBE; Auditions by Nathan Allen; Girl Power by New Focus (Impressions Gallery and Drummond Mill Habib’s Weddin: Bradford Ukrainian Story by Tim Smith.

* For more about Make:Film go to bradford2025.co.uk