REGIONAL NEWS: Bradford to recognise Battle of the Somme centenary with free film screening

    This year, Imperial War Museums (IWM) and members of the First World War Centenary Partnership are working together to show the UNESCO listed film The Battle of the Somme, to audiences across the world. Shot and screened in 1916, it was the first feature length documentary about war and changed the way both cinema and film was perceived by the public.

    In the year of its release around 20 million people, almost half the population of Britain at the time, watched The Battle of the Somme, with many hoping to see the image of a loved-one, or friend captured on film. One hundred years later, this unique film from IWM’s collection, is being shown to commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.

    Bradford UNESCO City of Film will be hosting two screenings of the film at City Hall, Bradford on Monday 11th July 2016 at 15.30 and again at 18.30. David Wilson, Director of Bradford UNESCO City of Film said, this is a very powerful film and many people still have a personal connection to this event from across the UK. This was also the first non-fiction film to be inscribed in the UNESCO Memory of the World register and is as relevant to audiences today as it was when it was first screened 100 years ago.

    The Battle of the Somme was the first feature length documentary about a war and running for over an hour was also one of the longest films of its time and was seen by over 20 million people making it the most popular film of that era. The film was shown in 18 different countries around the world and raised thousands of pounds for war charities. It was also the first film to be reviewed by the press.

    The film screening is free to attend but booking is essential. People wishing to attend need to email the film team at and reserve a place and state which time slot they would like.

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    REGIONAL NEWS: Dynamo pledges support for Great Exhibition of the North in 'magical' Bradford

    The world-famous magician Dynamo says he can't think of a more magical place to host the Great Exhibition of the North than his home city of Bradford.

    The illusionist, whose real name is Steven Frayne, was born in Bradford in 1982 and grew up on the city's Delph Hill estate.

    Dynamo says: "Bradford has undergone a huge amount of change over the past few years and become an incredibly vibrant, multicultural city.

    "The people and culture of Bradford have always been a huge inspiration to me in my career and I can't think of a more magical place to host The Great Exhibition of the North than my hometown."

    His great-grandfather taught him how to perform illusions at the age of seven to help deter bullies.

    His breakthrough came in 2006 when he made a documentary called Estate of Mind for Channel 4. His dream of a TV series became a reality in 2011 when the first season of Dynamo: Magician Impossible was aired.

    Dynamo has performed for the Prince of Wales and stars including Will Smith, Brad Pitt and Samuel L Jackson.

    Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council, said: "Dynamo has a truly inspiring life story and we are very proud of his international success as an A-list performer who celebrates his northern roots.

    "It is wonderful to have backing of Dynamo and we agree wholeheartedly with him that there is no place as magical as Bradford."

    Bradford Council is among one of many cities preparing to submit its bid to host the Great Exhibition of the North, which will take place in summer 2018.

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    REGIONAL NEWS: Winners announced for Bradford Small World Film Festival 2016

    A powerful story of a young Indian rag picker who aspires to be an engineer as he picks electronic waste to make machines from a monstrous hill of waste, has won top prize at this year’s Bradford Small World Film Festival.

    City’s Stepchild and the Dumphill Dreams by Delhi-based director Pranab Aich also took the documentary shorts top award. The moving film about children living at the margins of health and poverty was one of 31 which was selected by Bradford UNESCO  City of Film to be played in the month long film festival celebrating the diversity of life through film, in City Park on the Big Screen.

    A carpet weaver’s story of losing her family in a bomb attack, My Sardasht directed by  Ziba Arzhang  from Iran won in Best Animation.  And a tale of a botched blind date, The Park Bench, by American director G. Daniel Bailey won in the make Make Us Laugh category.  A special category featuring work from Sydney UNESCO City of Film with a focus on overcoming disability and prejudice was also screened for the panel.

    In a new addition to the festival, the winners were selected by Bradford people from all walks of life, coming together last night (Tuesday 21 June) as the People’s Panel in the glorious surroundings of City Hall.

    Festival director, David Wilson said: “We had a brilliant evening and I was bowled over with the enthusiasm and energy of our wonderful panel.  We had a really enjoyable and challenging time picking the winners as the quality and creativity of our filmmakers was so high.

    Panel member Rebecca Crabtree said: “It’s been a really enjoyable evening and the films covered such a variety of subjects giving us insights into all different sorts of worlds which I really liked.”

    Nasrina Malik who also sat on the panel said: “It’s been absolutely brilliant sitting on the People’s Panel. It’s been an event for all ages with both young and old here.  I was able to bring my elderly mum to the event and together we really enjoyed watching and voting for the films. It’s been a wonderful experience to share and we’d like to see more of these events in Bradford.”

    You can still catch the films on the big screen twice a day until the end of June.  For the programme see the website:

    Some of the films will also be selected to play at the the Harrogate International Festival next month.

    Bradford Small World Film 2016  Festival Finalists

    Finalists in the Animation category

    • Canned directed by Ivan Joy, Tanya Zaman and Nathanial Hatton, USA

    A street artist paints a beautiful mural of a woman on the wall, and is suddenly chased by police for having vandalised. The beautiful creation comes to life to save her creator in a chase scene through the favela’s of Rio de Janeiro.

    • Wildlife Crossing directed by Noro Držiak and Anthony Wong, Czech Republic

    The story of a witty and dynamic narrative about love of two snails, which must overcome the pitfalls of the harsh reality that separates them – the road in the middle of the countryside. Does he overcome his handicaps and proofs that true love never gives up

    • My Sardasht directed by Ziba Arzhang, Iran (CATEGORY WINNER)

    A bomb causes devastation in the city of Sardasht, leaving Kajal as the only survivor of her family. The story is told through carpet weaving.

    Finalists in the Documentary Short category

    • Together we are Beautiful directed by Natasha Hawthornthwaite, UK

     A documentary about love and happiness. The film follows a couple and their everyday life together. Filmed below the waistline along with the sound of their poems is an experimental way to see if the audience can understand characters without seeing their faces.

    • Master Kezban directed by Yavuz Özer, Turkey

    The story of Master Kezban who has been a carpenter in a remote Anatolian village for 20 years.

    • Hussein and Hassan directed by Jamillah van der Hulst, Netherlands

    Passionate boxing coaches Hussein and Hassan are the driving forces behind the East Coast Boxing Club, located in Naguru, one of the poorest neighborhoods of Uganda’s capital city Kampala. At a young age Hussein and Hassan had a successful international boxing career. This motivated them to go back to their local community and to support young boxers who, despite the tough living conditions, want to pursue their dreams to be something.

    • The Barnyard Sanctuary directed by Rebecca Blomgren, USA

    An animal sanctuary in Northwest New Jersey focuses on saving livestock from abandonment, homelessness, and slaughter

    • City’s Step Child and the Dump Hill Dreams directed by Pranab Kumar Aich, India  ( CATEGORY WINNER AND OVERALL WINNER)

    Unlike the many rag pickers working at this dump hill in Delhi, young Devendra is committed to collecting electronic waste discarded from our homes, in an attempt to create machines. Even the carcinogenic gases emitting from this hill have not been able to poison his engineering dreams. This documentary takes us through the breadwinning yet melancholic hill made out of city waste and its inhabitants living at the margins of health and poverty.

    Finalists in the Make Us Laugh category

    • The Park Bench directed by G. Daniel Bailey, USA. (CATEGORY WINNER)

    Two different men. Two different blind dates. One park bench. What could possibly go wrong?

    • Indalopathy directed by Jaime Garcia, Spain

    The life of an ancient village changes by an unexpected present.

    • Hijabi Fashionista directed by Aya Algergawy, The United Arab Emirates.

    Since the Hijab is quite a tactful matter, this short film aims to amiably portray the evolution of the head veil also known as the hijab from 1970 till today as many seem to seek it as a fashion trend

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    REGIONAL NEWS: Award winning Pakistani artist to give talk in Bradford

    Award-winning Pakistani artist Imran Qureshi will give a talk about his new outdoor commission Garden Within a Garden at Cartwright Hall, Bradford, on Sunday, 19 June.

    Imran is creating a 'Garden Within a Garden' in both the new temporary urban garden in City Park, and the Mughal water garden in Lister Park in Bradford this week.

    'Garden Within a Garden' is a major new artwork commissioned by 14-18NOW, the UK Arts Programme for the First World War centenary, Bradford Council and Yorkshire Festival 2016. Imran is to paint with acrylics directly onto paving in City Park and the Mughal Water Gardens in Lister Park. His artwork is inspired by the million-strong British Indian army that fought in the First World War.

    Imran will be in conversation with Alnoor Mitha this Sunday between 2pm - 4pm, about his creative practice and his other international public commissions. Alnoor Mitha is Senior Research Fellow (Asian Cultures) at Manchester Metropolitan University.

    Imran was born in Hyderabad and lives and works in Lahore, which lies within a region that as part of the British Raj, enlisted a huge number of Muslim, Sikh and Hindu soldiers to fight on the Western Front. It is their experiences of being at war in a distant land and in a hostile climate that will inform Garden Within a Garden.

    Imran was awarded the Deutsche Bank Award for Artist of the Year in 2013 and had his first UK solo exhibition at Ikon Gallery in Birmingham in 2014. He has also exhibited in London and New York.

    Coun Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council's portfolio holder for culture, said: "This is a great opportunity to learn how the creative mind works.

    "It will be fascinating to hear how an international award-winning artist approaches a major piece of artwork and especially one that is being undertaken here in the heart of Bradford."

    It is free to attend the talk on Sunday, however attendees are requested to book ahead by emailing or contact 01274 431212.

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    Mosque opens doors for all to come and experience the spirit of Ramadhan

    Following the over whelming success and positive feedback from “Visit My Mosque” last February the Madina Masjid in Mount Pleasant, Batley will once again be opening its doors to the wider community, this time during the holy month of Ramadhan.

    Madina Masjid BatleyThe Mosque is offering the opportunity for members of the wider community to sample the real spirit of Ramadhan by actually sitting in on the daily spiritual sermon.

    Currently an estimated 22 per cent of the global population is participating in Ramadan, which started on 6 June. Ramadhan marks the ninth month of the Muslim lunar calendar and it commemorates the month in which the Koran was first revealed to the prophet Mohammed and is the holiest month for Muslims.

    Its observance is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam,where Muslims will abstain from food and drink from sunrise till sunset.

    So to experience the spirit of Ramadhan Madina Masjid will open its doors to all on Sunday 12 June with an open invitation to listen to the daily Ramadhan spiritual lecture, which will be delivered by a revered guest speaker.  Delegates are requested to attend the mosque between 7.30 – 7.45pm to enable seating to take place in good time, and the opportunity to observe the early evening prayer which will commence at 8.00pm.  The prayer precedes the sermon, which will last for 40 minutes, with the whole event taking no more than an hour.

    On behalf of the Mosque it’s vice chair and spokesperson Yunus Lunat commented   “This is a natural progression that was broached by the Committee at the Open Mosque event which was received favourably.  We would hope that events such as this will continue to help demystify the workings and proceedings of a Mosque and demonstrate that the message of the sermon is no different from the sermons in any other place of worship”

    For further information or queries please contact Mohammed Mayat on 07976 894066

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