Going global: a new film featuring artist and illustrator Stanley Chow showcases Manchester’s creative charm to USA audiences

  • Marketing Manchester partner with VisitBritain and BBC StoryWorks on project to create and distribute Manchester content for the USA market
  • Two minute film will be aired over 250 times this month
  • Project is part of ongoing ambition for Manchester to be a top 20 global city by 2035

USA audiences will get a new insight into Manchester and its creative community this month due a new a short film featuring internationally renowned artist and illustrator Stanley Chow.

The two minute film – which has been created through a partnership between Marketing Manchester, VisitBritain and BBC StoryWorks – is shot in a documentary style and sees Stanley tell his story, how he is inspired by Manchester and why the city is such a vibrant place in which to visit, work and live.

Stanley rose to global prominence due to his distinct portraiture work which has graced the covers of magazines such as The New Yorker, GQ, Wired and The New York Times Magazine. He is also known for creating the artwork for The White Stripes’ Icky Thump album whilst Manchester locals will recognise his work around the city, most recently on Metrolink.

The partnership with BBC StoryWorks provides access to the BBC’s commercial, international channel, BBC World News whose audience will have the opportunity to see the film over 250 times over the next month.

The film is part of a wider series of films that challenge perceptions of traditional Britain, offering a modern take on the stunning landscapes, fashion, culture and history. As well as the Manchester film which introduces Stanley, there additional films using science and technology reporter Dr Shini Somara talking about London, fashion designer Siobhan Mackenzie talking about Scotland and TV presenter Gethin Jones talking about Wales.

Manchester’s decision to be involved in the project is part of the ongoing ambition for Manchester to be a top 20 global city by 2035 as stated in the Greater Manchester Internationalisation Strategy.

A key component of the strategy is to create engaging content which helps to change perceptions of Manchester, recognise the city’s world-class areas of excellence and showcase it as an innovative, diverse and international city. Such content is also required to have comprehensive and influential distribution channel.

Lou Cordwell, Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership Advisory Board Chair has championed the idea of such content creation for several years: “As Greater Manchester moves forward, it’s increasingly important that we create content which enhances the perception and depth of offer we want to promote globally.

“Stanley’s is a great story, however, great content is nothing without the right distribution channels and so I’m delighted that the city’s partnership with the BBC will deliver this snapshot of our creative sector to millions of people across the USA, many of whom are likely to be important influencers and decision makers.”

Speaking about the film, Stanley Chow, said: “It has been the people in Manchester that I have met who have inspired my achievements. If I lived somewhere else it’s hard to say whether I would have the reputation I have as an artist as I do now.

“When I left home to forge my own path, I seemed to have found myself surrounded by a community of creativity people – other artists, designers, musicians, actors, writers – and we were all in the same boat; young, all determined to make a name for ourselves and striving to make our dreams of success come true.

“We all inspired each other. As we grew older each other’s individual successes helped us all in keeping the desire to carry on being creative. I’d like to think I was part of a creative community in Manchester that has inspired some of the generation younger and hopefully they will inspire the next generation coming through for years to come.”

VisitBritain Commercial Director Carol Dray said: “These films will inspire American visitors to book a trip right now for experiences they can only get in Britain, from seeing the Meridian Line in Greenwich to drawing inspiration at a coffee shop in Manchester, from discovering the history of Caernarforn Castle in Wales to dolphin spotting at Chanory Point in the Scottish Highlands.”

And BBC Advertising’s VP for Western Europe, Guy Hughes-Wilson, added: “We are enormously proud of our partnership, and of these four new films we have created. Each person featured in the films is passionate about where they are from, and that really brings these beautifully made mini documentary-style films to life.”

The US is Britain’s most valuable inbound visitor market and also one of its largest. Latest figures from VisitBritain show that there were 1.9 million visits from the US to the UK in the first six months of this year, a 31% increase on the period last year. Visitors from the US spent £1.8 billion between January and June this year, a 28% increase on the same period last year.


Notes to editors:

The film is available to download and embed using this link.

Download hi-res images on the VisitBritain website

For press enquiries please contact:

Andy Parkinson, Communications Manager, Marketing Manchester

Andy.Parkinson@marketingmanchester.com | 07714001544

About The Growth Company and Marketing Manchester

The Growth Company is a UK-wide not-for-profit economic development agency that seeks to generate inclusive growth in the country’s economy by creating jobs, and improving lives. It offers a wealth of services that support growth among individuals, businesses, cities and regions. For more information, please visit: www.growthco.uk

As part of The Growth Company, Marketing Manchester promotes Greater Manchester on the national and international stage to key sectors including; media, digital and tech; science; advanced manufacturing; financial and professional services; tourism; culture; and sport. For more information, please visit: www.marketingmanchester.com.