Still from ‘Taking the Plunge’ (The Wales Empire Pool, Cardiff, with models Eira and Virgina] (c.1968)
UNLOCKING FILM HERITAGE
The British Film Institute (BFI) and national archives across the UK are digitising 10,000 heritage titles, making these available in the cinema, through DVD or online platforms. 5,000 will come from the BFI collection and 5,000 from significant collections and rights holders across the UK. The aim is to ensure that films are digitised, representing material of interest to audiences across the whole the UK.
There are over thirty-one ‘Significant Collections’ representing material from archives across the UK. They include national collections in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and The Imperial War Museum as well as important dedicated film collections in each of the English regions.
The majority of Welsh titles will be digitised by the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales (NSSAW) under the current and future phases of ‘Unlocking Film Heritage’. Phase 1 is ‘Portrait of Britain: Mapping Wales’ – with titles scheduled to go live on the BFI Player online platform mid-2015 – geo-tagged on a map of Britain. After this, Phase 2 will bring films on stream on other themes (ranging from towns and cities and industry, to trains, football, animals, and love and romance!), whilst Phase 3 will focus on films reflecting rural life, coast and sea etc.
The digitised films will not be available as DCPs (UFH does not fund that for archival films), but exhibitors are welcome to discuss other format possibilities with the Archive. With regard to copyright and other clearances, UFH archival titles are only pre-cleared for the BFI Player, so please note that some titles will need clearing for theatrical exhibition on a per-case basis (the Archive can advise and assist with this). Due to the nature of archive films, especially amateur and home movie titles, some degree of curation is often necessary for good presentation (e.g. selection of suitable segment, addition of music for silent films etc.) – so it is useful to factor this in to your planning time.
Please contact NSSAW via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any queries about UFH.
Discussion is underway with Film Hub Wales to explore how UFH material and information about content might be made easily available centrally.