Culture

When it comes to appreciating film and the moving image, Bristol boasts an impressive selection of venues, festivals and special events. Internationally renowned film culture and digital media centre Watershed links many of these together, whilst smaller independent cinemas like The Cube and Everyman Cinema are also popular with audiences.

Our rich screen heritage dates back to the very beginning of screen experimentation; one of the earliest moving image inventors William Friese-Green (1855-1921) was born and lived in Bristol – as was Archibald Leach, aka global film icon Cary Grant (1904-1986), whose life is celebrated biennially by the city’s Cary Comes Home Festival.

In total Bristol hosts 11 international film festivals which provide a diverse and dynamic range of programmes, covering everything from film print rarities at Cinema Rediscovered, shorts at Encounters, natural history at Wildscreen, silent comedy at Slapstick and classic films in unusual locations at Bristol Film Festival.

Through its Film Culture strand, Bristol City of Film is:

  • increasing diversity of local access and engagement with film
  • providing more opportunities for all audiences to watch films in a broad range of different settings
  • supporting screen heritage and archive initiatives
  • increasing screen tourism to attract more visitors to the city.

Take a look at some of the projects we’re currently working with.

"I think it’s the most fascinating city in the country. There’s always something to do and experience; from the incredible outdoor spaces to the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft; from the brilliant Bristol Old Vic to the amazing carnival. I’m so proud it’s got this City of Film status, it’s a place where stories should be told.”

Jack Thorne, BAFTA-winning screenwriter (Kiri, National Treasure, This is England '86, '88, '90)