Sets And The City: Bristol Wins City of Film Award at The Cannes Film Festival

Sets And The City: Bristol Wins City of Film Award at The Cannes Film Festival

Bristol and the creative arts have always been synonymous with one another, with expression and experimentation beaming from the individuals, communities and studios that call this city home. This is especially true of the film and television industry, with locally sourced series, animations, shorts and features earning worldwide recognition.

Known for its eclectic mix of historic architecture, scenic landscapes, and dynamic urban environments, Bristol has long been a favourite for filmmakers. The city’s roots run deep, with an impressive repertoire of creative minds and acclaimed productions. Today, Bristol continues to shine, attracting major projects and fostering a community of talented professionals dedicated to the craft of visual storytelling.

It should come as no surprise then, that Bristol just won the City of Film award at the Cannes Film Festival!

The City Of Film Award

It goes without saying that winning an award at Cannes is no mean feat. According to the Global Production Awards, the City of Film category celebrates those who go above and beyond in supporting film and television production, and it’s safe to say Bristol does just that. The criteria for this category include the volume and quality of films produced, the presence of film festivals and events and the city’s efforts in promoting sustainable and innovative production practices. Judged on its infrastructure, talent development, and overall environment for production​, it’s no wonder Bristol’s taken the top spot.

Other cities that made the shortlist include Limerick (Ireland) Zagreb (Croatia), Tulsa (US) and Sofia (Bulgaria). Whilst this isn’t the first time Bristol has been recognised for its cinematic talents, it’s a significant moment; the win serves as a reflection of the city’s forward-thinking creative spirit, remaining ever-relevant in a constantly evolving industry.

Bristol On Film

From the BBC to Amazon Prime, Channel 4 to Everyman, you needn’t search long to spot Bristol’s cobbled streets, urban sprawl or scenic countryside on-screen. The city’s history is one of creative expression and groundbreaking craft, with its roots stretching back to the establishment of the BBC Natural History Unit in 1957. This pioneering unit has been at the forefront of wildlife documentary filmmaking, creating some of the most acclaimed series like “Planet Earth,” narrated by Sir David Attenborough. These productions have not only showcased the wonders of the natural world but also put Bristol on the map as a centre of excellence in documentary filmmaking.

Of course, wildlife documentaries are only the tip of Bristol’s cinematic iceberg. The 1970s spawned Aardman Animations, changing the face of British film with their charming and quirky stop-motion animation. An institution that needs no introduction, Aardman has given us beloved characters such as Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep and has produced hit films like Chicken Run. Their unique style and heartwarming storytelling have earned them numerous awards and a place in the hearts of audiences worldwide.

Over the past 30 years, Bristol has played host to a plethora of incredible television and cinema. Below are a handful of our favourites.

The Outlaws

From the mind of a true Bristolian, Stephen Merchant’s “The Outlaws” follows a group of misfits completing community service in the city. As expected, every episode is awash with recognisable spots and bustling Bristolian energy. Filming locations include Stokes Croft, known for its street art, and the picturesque Clifton Suspension Bridge. The show not only brings out the character of Bristol but also introduces audiences to lesser-known parts of the city, making it almost a character in its own right​​. One of the series’ most notable scenes even sees a community-serving Christopher Walken deliberately destroy one of Banksy’s infamous rat artworks. It doesn’t get more Bristol than that!

Skins

No discussion of Bristol on screen would be complete without mentioning the cult TV show Skins. The E4 drama, filmed and set in the city, follows a group of teenagers navigating the challenges of adolescence. Airing from 2007-2013, for a total of seven series, filming locations include Brandon Hill, College Green, the Floating Harbour and Theckla.

Broadchurch

Gritty, tense and undeniably enticing, Broadchurch showed the world how detective shows should be done. The show’s three seasons follow the investigation of a young boy’s murder in a small coastal town, in which detectives Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) uncover hidden secrets and local tensions on their search for the killer. While the fictional town of Broadchurch is set on the Dorset coast, many of the interior scenes were filmed here in Bristol, including the Bristol Crown Court.

Dr Who

If you were out and about in Bristol last April, you might have caught a glimpse of the BBC’s lighting, rigging, equipment or even a famous face. The cast and crew of Dr Who took to the streets while filming a number of action-packed sequences, later seen in the 2023 series and 60th-anniversary finale. In addition to the BBC’s numerous production studios, David Tennant and Catherine Tate can be seen upon Clare Street’s patterned pavement as well as the historic St Stephen’s Church.

Bristol’s success at the Cannes Film Festival is cause for celebration. From pioneering wildlife documentaries to beloved animations and high-profile dramas, our beautiful city has consistently proven its ability to produce exceptional content and nurture an ever-growing creative community.

Here at Omni Productions, we’re grateful to call this city home and proud to offer our services to businesses and agencies in Bristol and beyond. From commercials and brand stories to animation and drama, we provide video production services tailored to suit you. Get in touch to discuss your requirements.

Contact us

At Omni Productions, we understand that every business is different, which is why we offer a wide range of video production services to fit your needs. Whether you’re looking for a brand video, a marketing video, a TV commercial, a direct response television (DRTV) spot, a film for your recruitment campaign, a charity video, or an animation or training video, we can help you create a video that will captivate your audience and help you achieve your goals. We have a base in sunny Bristol but work across Cardiff, Manchester, Birmingham, London,the whole of the UK and the wider world.

We are committed to providing our clients with the best possible service, and we are always happy to discuss your project and find a solution that meets your needs. Contact us today to learn more about our video production services and get a free quote.