Film crews and Hollywood stars have become almost a common site in Bolton in recent years. In some quarters the town has come to be regarded as the Hollywood of the North. The final part of a three part special report looks at the impact Bolton Film Festival has had on the borough.

The organisers behind an annual film festival held in Bolton are "adamant and passionate” about keeping the event in the town.

This comes amid growing interest in cinema and television in the town prompted by the increasingly common sight of film crews in key locations.

The festival, in particular festival director Adrian Barber and festival programmer and producer Zoe Rothwell’s dedication to keeping it in the borough, was discussed at a recent meeting of Bolton Council.

Cllr Karen Hon, of Great Lever, said: “It is the only accredited film festival in the region and is recognised by the industry worldwide.

“I’d like to add that I know that the film festival group have also been offered many a times to take this film festival down the road to neighbouring Manchester and that’s why I’d also like to thank Adrian and Zoe even more so because they’ve been quite adamant and passionate about keeping the film festival in Bolton.”

The Bolton News: Bolton Film FestivalBolton Film Festival (Image: Public)

This year’s festival, the seventh to be held in Bolton, screened a total of 300 short films including 42 world premieres, 20 European premieres and 77 UK premieres.

In total the festival received more than 3,000 submissions, sparking heated debate amongst organisers about the best selection to put on show.

Big names taking part included Office star Ricky Gervais alongside Aidan Turner, Robert Webb, Juliet Stevenson and Joe Wilkinson.

Former Coronation Street star Julie Hesmondhalgh also attended, supporting “The Group”, which she appears in.

Cllr Hon had raised the success of the festival at a full meeting on Bolton Council in October as a key part of the borough’s economy

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Bolton Council cabinet member for culture Cllr Nadeem Ayub said that it was events like these that helped to build the borough’s reputation in the UK and across the world.

He said: “The annual event showcases the town’s great strengths in creativity and film making.

“We are so lucky in Bolton to have such a rich cultural eco-system and the Bolton Film Festival is a key part of it.

“The festival is recognised internationally, it holds both BAFTA and BIFTA accreditation, it puts Bolton’s name firmly on the map.”