Halifax’s Culturedale Takes Centre Stage! British Urban Film Festival Awards Finale Hits Dean Clough


Dean Clough, a mixed-use destination in Halifax, has been chosen as the venue for the British Urban Film Festival (BUFF) awards finale on October 20th. The event marks BUFF’s first move outside London, showcasing urban independent films. Dean Clough, also known as ‘Culturedale,’ is a major hub for international film and television production and has been featured in productions like Happy Valley and Ackley Bridge. Angela Griffin, a Leeds-born actress, will receive this year’s British Urban Film Festival Honorary Award at the event. The festival aims to unite people through film and celebrate modern stories in Halifax and the wider region.

Dean Clough, the 22-acre, mixed use destination in Halifax, has been selected to host the ultimate awards finale for The British Urban Film Festival (BUFF) next week.

The event will take place on Friday 20th October with Leeds born actress; Angela Griffin due to attend as the recipient of this year’s British Urban Film Festival Honorary Award.

BUFF is the UK‘s longest running showcase for urban independent film. Over the past 18 years the platform has galvanised filmmakers and audiences with its annual award-winning film and industry programme which has been recognised domestically and internationally by BAFTA, the Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival, the British Independent Film Awards and the African Movie Academy Awards.

BUFF recently announced plans to move the event outside of London for the first time, bringing it to the North, after collaborating with Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire.  An official launch event took place last month with the opening weekend planned in Leeds on Saturday, 14th October and Sunday, 15th October at Everyman Cinema, Leeds. The festival continues at VUE cinema in Halifax on Monday, 16th October through until the awards climax at The Crossley Gallery, Dean Clough on Friday, 20th October.

Also dubbed ‘Culturedale’, Calderdale is fast becoming a major hub for international film and television production attracting companies like the BBC, Netflix and Disney Plus to produce and shoot movies and television programmes.  Specifically, Dean Clough has been a filming location for Happy Valley, Ackley Bridge, and Secret Invasion as well as being a backdrop for many presenting programmes.

As well as being an established business destination with over 3,000 people working on site, Dean Clough is also widely recognised for its cultural offering through its unique subterranean theatre and one of the largest private art galleries in the UK. The Viaduct Theatre is the home of by world-renowned resident company, Northern Broadsides whose mixed touring programme of Shakespearean productions, adapted classic plays and new writing in a northern voice have built a significant following.

Jeremy Hall, Chairman and Managing Director at Dean Clough Ltd, said,

“I am thrilled that Dean Clough has been selected to host the awards finale for BUFF and we are excited to offer a very warm welcome to all guests in our wonderfully unique environment. For more than 40 years, we have worked hard to regenerate this historically important site and cultivate a truly vibrant and diverse destination for both business and pleasure.

Emmanuel Anyiam-Osigwe, co-chair and founder of the British Urban Film Festival, said:

“After 18 years, BUFF is finally spreading its wings and starting a new life away from the nation’s capital. Dean Clough is the perfect backdrop for our awards finale, as a well regarded cultural destination in such a breathtaking, historical setting. We very much hope to maintain a long lasting partnership with the Dean Clough team and I’m excited to see what lies in store for the film festival as it approaches its 20th birthday in 2025.” 

Cllr Jenny Lynn, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, said:

“We are proud to be supporting the British Urban Film Festival (BUFF) in its 18th year, as it moves its operations from London to West Yorkshire. We’re excited to welcome the BAFTA-accredited festival to Calderdale in the runup to our landmark Year of Culture 2024, and at a time when our national profile as a filming destination is going from strength to strength. Inclusion is really important to us – we want all our diverse communities to enjoy culture. BUFF is a beacon for uniting people through film, and will draw audiences from all backgrounds to explore modern stories in Halifax and the wider region.”

Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin said:

“West Yorkshire’s creative industries are thriving, with more and more organisations recognising that this is the place to be. I’m thrilled that this amazing film festival is heading north, giving visitors a chance to explore our magnificent region. This will provide an inspirational experience for those in our communities and beyond, as we build a stronger, brighter region that works for all.”