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Page last updated at 10:46 GMT, Thursday, 12 August 2010 11:46 UK
Millions in Malaysia to see Bradford star in TV dramas
Malaysian film crew in Bradford
A number of locations in and around Bradford were used by the crew

Bradford is to play a starring role in two Malaysian TV dramas thanks to its City of Film status.

Producers of the films asked for permission to use Bradford as a location after having seen it earn the prestigious Unesco title in 2009.

Actors and crew from Malaysia spent two days recording in the city and the end results could be seen by millions.

Producer Faiz Helimi says: "It was a wonderful experience having this beautiful city in our drama project."

Malaysian actors in Bradford
The stars of the films get into character on location in Bradford

Bradford is now the backdrop for two productions, Kau Tak Pernah Jauh (literally, You Never Be Away) and Mimpi Sabrina (Sabrina's Dream).

Actors and crew spent time recording around Bank Street and Market Street, Bradford Cathedral and Bradford University, where the main characters fulfil their dream of studying overseas.

The programmes are aimed at 16 to 30-year-olds and will be broadcast on a satellite channel watched by around four million people in Malaysia and Brunei later in 2010.

Of course, Bradford is already firmly on the UK movie map after having starred in such films as Billy Liar, Room at the Top and Rita, Sue and Bob Too. But it is believed that this is the first time the city will feature in a film made so far from West Yorkshire.

Councillor the Rev Paul Flowers, portfolio holder responsible for Culture, Tourism and Sport, thinks it is a great boost for Bradford.

He says: "I am not aware of the city ever being used as a location for a TV show or film screened as far away as Malaysia before.

"It is great that the crew enjoyed such a successful shoot.

The Malaysian film crew
The film crew came to Bradford after hearing that it was the first City of Film

"It is testament to the power of the City of Film status that these producers would pick Bradford as their preferred location."

Bradford was chosen in 2009 to become the world's first ever City of Film, an accolade awarded by Unesco, the arm of the United Nations which promotes culture.

The city was recognised for movies made in the city and its museum dedicated to film.

At the time of the City of Film award, its supporters hoped it would bring benefits to the city's economy.

Peg Alexander, director of the City of Film initiative, says: "As the world's first official Unesco City of Film, one of our aims is to help film makers see that Bradford is a world-class place to make film.

"How wonderful that a Malaysian company has recognised this.

"Here in Bradford we have fantastic locations for amazing movies - from inner city backdrops for both current and period pieces, to outstandingly beautiful rural and industrial landscapes.

"We have great facilities in and around Bradford and a real pool of local talent.

We were impressed with the people, the city and how the council managed this cool and vibrant place.
Faiz Helimi, film producer

"It's very exciting and we expect to see more of this in the future."

And Malaysian film producer Faiz Helimi said being in Bradford even for a short time has left him with lasting memories of the city.

He explains: "We were impressed with the people, the city and how the council managed this cool and vibrant place.

"We hope we may be able to promote Bradford. We wish that we could come again."

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