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New film celebrates Exeter as a UNESCO City of Literature

Published: 27 November 2023

New film celebrates Exeter as a UNESCO City of Literature UNESCO City of Literature

A new short film has been released by the Exeter City of Literature charity to celebrate Exeter’s UNESCO literary status.

The film features members of its Partnership Network and the literary activity they produce throughout the city, including author events with Quay Words, plays with Beyond Face and festivals with Bookbag.

Exeter was designated a UNESCO City of Literature in 2019 and will hold this title in perpetuity. It recognises Exeter’s strong literary history, dating back over 1,000 years, and the city’s focus on literature and well-being within its cultural offer.

Exeter City of Literature commissioned local company Preston Street Films to shoot and edit the footage.

Performance poet Shaday Barrowes-Bayewunmi recorded the voice-over and freelance writer Duncan Moreland wrote the script. The film will be shown before all of the Powell & Pressburger and Dance First screenings at Exeter Phoenix in November and December.

Exeter has an unbroken history of reading and writing dating back over 1,000 years when the Exeter Book was created.

Since then, the region has inspired writers from Charles Dickens to Agatha Christie – it has been home to Hilary Mantel and Ted Hughes and as a UNESCO City of Literature it has brought world-renowned authors, Ukrainian poets, and international opportunities to the residents, students and visitors to Exeter.

Anna Cohn Orchard, Executive Director of Exeter City of Literature, said: “Culture shapes and defines a place and we’re proud that the literary sector, in all of its creative forms, is defining Exeter’s future as much as it did its past.

“There is so much literary and storytelling activity going on in Exeter – this film celebrates that and shows why Exeter is a UNESCO City of Literature. Every organisation featured in the film – and the attendees, visitors, and writers connected to them – makes Exeter the vibrant City of Literature it is.”

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