UK’s film archives play crucial role in ‘Britain on Film’

Film archives throughout the UK see the results of their work as partners of the BFI’s ‘Britain on Film’.

Launched officially on 7th July 2015, the National Lottery funded ‘Britain on Film’ reveals a fascinating moving image history of people and places from the UK’s archives.  The project’s digital platform, BFI Player, showcases thousands of films from 1895 to the present day which can be searched via the Britain on Film’s map.

Over the last 2 years, the 12 archives across the UK have worked to select film of their region held in their archives to contribute to this national project with the aim to ensure that every corner of the British Isles is represented. From the Lerwick gannets in the Shetland Islands in 1946 (NLS) to the Queen Mother’s visit to the Scilly Isles in ’69 (SWFTA) and scenes of Londonderry in ’58 (NIScreen) to 1930’s horseriding in Broadstairs, Kent (SASE) hundreds of films from the regions reveal forgotten stories of people, places and events charting our moving image history of the last century.

The launch of Britain on Film is part of the BFI’s Unlocking Film Heritage programme (2013-2017) , a massive programme of curation and digitisation with national and regional archives joining forces to deliver the work and has been a main focus of delivery for most of the regional film archives and their specialist staff. Through a series of applications to the BFI for National Lottery funding, the UK’s film archives are well on their way to showcase up to 5,000 films on the BFI Player with more footage being added over the next couple of years.