An online love letter to Sunderland has been launched today as the final countdown to UK City of Culture begins.
The film, Sunderland: We Are Makers, features a host of city faces and groups and celebrates the three main themes of Sunderland's bid for the 2021 culture title.
The themes are Light, Inventiveness and Friendship - and the footage features the Stadium of Light, The Empire, The Fire Station, Joseph Swan, Venerable Bede, the National Glass Centre and a host of other city sights.
Rebecca Ball, 2021 bid director, said: “This film captures the essence of the City of Culture bid and the pride that has helped unite our communities.”
The five-minute movie focuses on a city coming out of the shadows and reinventing itself for the better, with its initial sombre tone replaced with a celebration of all the things that make Sunderland special.
Sunderland 2021’s Kristian Foreman oversaw the project, which was created with production companies Second Draft, from Sunderland, and New World Designs.
He 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.”
He 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.”