Gdynia joins UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network as a City of Film
The coastal city of Gdynia has been awarded the prestigious title of UNESCO City of Film.
The announcement made by Director General of UNESCO Audrey Azoulay sees the city become the second in Poland to join the list, the first being Łódź which was awarded the title in 2017.
Delighted Gdynia Mayor Wojciech Szczurek said the title was a “highly prestigious recognition of the city's achievements in the film sector and culture in general.”
He added: “Opening up to European cooperation is a great opportunity and offers great potential. I know that in our Gdynia film community we will be an example of how to implement it.”
Now in its 46th year, the festival’s Golden Lion award is Poland’s most prestigious award for fiction films.
The city is also the co-host of the country’s largest documentary film festival ‘Millennium Docs Against Gravity’, the Gdynia Film Centre, and the Gdynia Film School which is northern Poland’s only film school for aspiring film directors.
The city is also increasingly coming to be recognised for its film production studios including KAZstudio, which has produced a popular children’s animation ‘Rodzina Treflików’ (The Treflik Family).
Head of the Department of Culture for the City of Gdynia, Maja Wagner said the UNESCO title was the result of “a several year process of building a strong film brand in Gdynia…It was also a consistent policy of supporting non-governmental organisations and the creative sector, which in Gdynia, is very strong and very diverse.”
Established in 2004, the Creative Cities Network aims to foster cooperation between global cities and regions which base their development on different areas of the creative economy.
In joining the network cities commit themselves to building international partnerships, sharing best practices and strengthening the involvement of inhabitants in the cultural life of the city.
Speaking at the conference, director of the Gdynia Film Centre Leszek Kopeć gave an insight into future initiatives, which include a new digital film centre based on the newest technologies, which would be an interactive digital film platform for the partially sighted and hard of hearing.
Kraków and Wrocław are UNESCO Cities of Literature, while Katowice is a UNESCO City of Music.
The network currently brings together 295 cities from 90 countries.