Galway secures Unesco city of film title
First Irish city to secure film designation as part of creative cities network
Lelia Doolan: the film-maker was one of the co-ordinators of more than 50 organisations involved in the Galway bid for city of film status
The designation, which has permanent status, was announced by Unesco director-general Irina Bokova in Paris, as one of five worldwide.
“This is a major international achievement not just for Galway, but for the country,” Mr O’Herlihy said.
“ Film has always run through the veins of Galway, and holds a strong cultural, artistic and economic value,”he
“The appointment of Galway as a permanent Unesco City of Film is recognition of the value of Irish filmmakers – directors, writers, producers, the Galway Film Centre, the Galway Film Fleadh, Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board and TG4 – to the cultural fabric of Galway,” he said.
“This will open so many opportunities for Galway that it is actually quite overwhelming,” Galway Film Centre manager Declan Gibbons said.
Significantly, no consultants were employed in the low-budget bid, Mr Gibbons said. The designation comes with no money, but considerable status and prestige, and will “open many doors”, he said.
Some 63 cities worldwide had been shortlisted for the designation. The film and television industry in the western capital is valued at €72 million, and employs over 600 people full-time.
Galway’s final application was submitted in March 2014. The selection means that it now formally joins the Unesco’s Creative Cities network. It is also a boost for Galway’s campaign to become European Capital of Culture in 2020.
The Unesco Creative Cities network seeks to “develop international cooperation amongst cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable development”. Dublin won Unesco City of Literature status in 2009.
Mayor of Galway Donal Lyons (Ind) and Galway County Council cathaoirleach Mary Hoade (FF) paid tribute to those involved in the bid.
The announcement comes several days after Galway Film Centre’s annual film and television seminar, with participants including Beau Willimon, creator and show runner of the Netflix drama series House of Cards, former Channel 4 television drama head Gub Neal, who is producer of the hit series The Fall and BAFTA-winning producer Claire Jennings.