A BIG-BUDGET Bronte movie could be made in China thanks to a partnership with the district’s film bosses.

Chinese filmmakers are talking with Bradford UNESCO City of Film about a co-production either based on a Bronte novel or the tragic sisters’ own lives.

Representatives from Bradford Council and the University of Bradford were this month due to discuss the project in Qingdao, China, while accompanying a Leeds City Region delegation to explore investment relationships with the second largest economy in the world.

The Bradford team hoped to build stronger relationships in film production, education and tourism, and were touting Haworth and the Brontes as one of the district’s main selling points.

City of Film has already established close links with Qingdao and helped the city to attain its status as China’s first UNESCO City of Film in 2017.

City of Film director David Wilson said the idea of a Bronte film was discussed earlier this year when Chinese film producers visited Bradford and London.

He said: “We took them to the Bronte Parsonage Museum and Haworth. We spoke at length about making a co-production in China – the Brontes make an obvious choice.

“We could either turn one of the Bronte books into a film or tell the Bronte family’s own story. Bronte books are taught as classic texts in Chinese secondary schools.

“We would have to find finance and the right people to adapt the novels, but we have expertise up at the Bronte Parsonage Museum. There are definite plans to make this happen, but of course it might take years.”

The University of Bradford has been working closely with the Qingdao University of Science and Technology to develop a jointly taught degree in animation for students starting in September 2019. This will involve academics from the University of Bradford to teach part of the course in Qingdao.

During the latest visit to China, the Yorkshire team were due to meet with their counterparts from the West Coast New Area of Qingdao and sign a memorandum of understanding to promote mutually beneficial cooperation in the fields of economy and trade, creative and innovation industries, science and technology, culture and education.

Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Healthy People and Place Portfolio Holder, said: “Building on the strong links already established by Bradford UNESCO City of Film in recent years, we hope the delegation from the Leeds City Region develops valuable future collaborations.”

Mark Garratt, Director of Strategic Partnerships at the University of Bradford and board member of Bradford UNESCO City of Film said: “I am absolutely delighted to visit Qingdao for the first time to see first-hand how we will be developing a strategic relationship between the cities of Qingdao and Bradford.

“I am particularly delighted with the partnership between Bradford UNESCO City of Film and Qingdao UNESCO City of Film and the two universities.”

Steve Hartley, Strategic Director Place, Bradford Council, said: “The scale and ambition of Qingdao creates fantastic opportunities to form collaborative ventures building on our existing film links but also in tourism, education and manufacturing.”

Bradford is the world’s first UNESCO City of Film. This permanent title bestows international recognition on Bradford as a world centre for film because of the city’s rich film heritage, its inspirational movie locations and its many celebrations of the moving image through the city’s film festivals, filmed related events and unique approach to learning about film and learning with film.

To find out more on Bradford City of Film please visit www.bradford-city-of-film.com.