A small screen showcase of Sunderland splendour

20 November 2017

A celluloid love-letter to Sunderland has today been launched as the final countdown to UK City of Culture begins.

The film, entitled Sunderland: We Are Makers, features a host of city faces and groups and celebrates the three main themes of our Sunderland 2021 bid: Light, Inventiveness and Friendship.

The film features the Stadium of Light, The Empire, The Fire Station, Joseph Swan, Venerable Bede, National Glass Centre and host of other instantly recognisable city icons.

However, it is the pride and passion of the people in the film that brings it to life, each one talking about the city’s past, present and future…and what the city now “maks”!

2021 Bid director, Rebecca Ball, said: “This film captures the essence of the City of Culture bid and the pride that has helped unite our communities.”

The film’s initial sombre tone is soon replaced by a euphoric celebration of all things Sunderland. Covering the three key themes, the five-minute movie focuses on a city coming out of the shadows and reinventing itself for the better. 

Sunderland 2021’s Kristian Foreman, who oversaw the project, said: “It is quite emotional watching the finished the product, having worked on this for quite a while. We had around 60 filmmakers pitch ideas from across the UK, but we decided to go with two local companies and ask them to do a co-production.

“Second Draft and New World Designs really captured the essence of Sunderland and seemed to immediately understand what we were looking for, which isn’t a surprise really as they’re as passionate about the culture bid as we are.”

Second Draft is an independent production company with a background in TV and documentary, based in Sunderland. Senior Producer, Mark Stuart Bell who runs the firm and wrote the script for the film, said: “It’s fantastic to be involved in something to showcase my city in such a positive, progressive light. Win or lose, I think the bid has shone a light on everything that is good about Sunderland.”

Production company, New World Designs, work with global brands all around the world, but had never been commissioned to do anything in the city until now. MD Ian Wright said: “Sunderland is a city of amazing people and incredible paces and to have the opportunity to capture the positivity and passion around the City of Culture bid is a real honour. I’ve loved every minute of the experience.”

Kristian added: “We couldn’t be more pleased with the way it came out. Like Sunderland, it's got heart, grit and style. We think people are going to love it.” 

You can view ‘Sunderland: We are Makers #Sunderland2021’ on Sunderland 2021's Facebook page and YouTube channel.

A VR/360 tour of Sunderland has also been uploaded on Facebook and YouTube. This showcases Sunderland's cultural highlights.

VR headsets or mobile phones can be used to look around the city https://youtu.be/sfmzw3XWHO0