Film Archives UK (FAUK) brings together archives, archivists, associate organisations and individuals who are interested in and committed to the work and development of the UK’s public sector film archives.
For a taste of the material we hold, why not watch our video showcasing some of the treasures from our collections?
Channel 4 documentary features North West Film Archive project
Secret History – Messages Home: Lost Films of the British Army
This new Channel 4 documentary featuring the North West Film Archive’s ‘Message Home ‘ project will be shown onSunday 26th June at 8pmon Channel 4. Made by Oxford Scientific Films, the programme introduces us to five of the families found and reveals their amazing stories. Don’t miss it! And tell us what you think by firstname.lastname@example.org
Calling Blighty is a series of short films made in 1944-46 of individual servicemen and women in the Far East sending personal messages home to their family and friends. These poignant filmed messages were shown in local cinemas in Manchester and the North West, to the mixed laughter and tears of the specially invited audiences. ‘A Message Home’ is a project to try to find as many families and veterans as possible, to bring them together to show the films again, and to tell their stories.
Of nearly 400 issues made, only 48 are known to survive. Of these, 23 feature service personnel from the Greater Manchester and wider North West areas, and were found complete with the sheets of contact details showing the names and addresses of the family and friends who were invited to the screenings.You can find here a searchable database of over 600 names, with clips.
Alongside the attempt to trace people, a new artists’ film by Steve Hawley is being made, summing up these unique and compelling films. They are partly stilted, occasionally emotional, but mostly stiff upper lip testimonies, filmed direct to camera often in one take – sometimes funny, and always very moving. In a way, they predict video communications such as Skype, but also offer a window on the understated courage of servicemen who had endured the long separation from their home – in both time and space – often since the start of the war.