Will Łódź be the UNESCO City of Film?
— Film is a natural choice — Mayor Hanna Zdanowska declared. — Being awarded with the title will enable us not only to foster the film heritage of Łódź in a better manner but mainly to develop new and pending initiatives and projects, commence international cooperation on a larger scale, and exchange knowledge and experience. Cities operating within the network show numerous social and economic benefits resulting from their membership: the increasing competence of creative personnel, the strengthening of innovative character due to the transfer of knowledge and technology, boosted investment attractiveness, and the development of creative tourism connected with festivals, museums, artistic undertakings, interesting architecture and well-known film locations. The title of UNESCO Creative City is also connected to a number of occasions for promoting events, products and services related to the creative sector on foreign markets, as well as the possibility of unlimited use of the logo of an organisation recognised worldwide.
The applying city needs to show that it has infrastructure connected to film, film schools, archives, museums and other institutions in place which cultivate film culture, as well as to document its experience in organising film festivals, productions, the distribution of films and promotion of knowledge about cinema.
According to Mayor Hanna Zdanowska there will not be any problems with this: Łódź not only has an impressive legacy but also a true multi-disciplinary film sector, beginning from education conducted at all stages, via production and post-production, distribution and the popularisation of film works. The Mayor entrusted preparation of the application to the National Centre for Film Culture. The entity, under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the City of Łódź, after completion of the investment planned for 2016-2019, is to become a cultural and educational centre for those interested in the world of film and audiovisual culture, central to Poland and unique for this part of Europe.
— It does not mean that we will prepare the application ourselves — Rafał Syska, Director of the National Centre for Film Culture, underlines. — The application, and mostly the plan of action for the first four years as a network member contained in it, needs to be the joint work of all the interested public and private entities, and those representing the local community. The consultations will commence next week. The receipt of applications will probably be announced at the beginning of 2017. It is known that Paris will also be competing for the City of Film title in the upcoming application round.
The following Polish cities belong to the UNESCO network: Kraków, the City of Literature since 2011, and Katowice, the City of Music since 2015. The network also features three sister cities of Łódź: Mexican Puebla — the City of Design, Lviv — the City of Literature, and Chinese Chengdu — the City of Culinary Art.