FOCAL Advertising - Place your advert here. Click here for further details

The FOCAL International Awards 2017

Please read the Entry Guidelines first, then the Category details. When you have chosen an appropriate Category that you want to make a submission to, go to the Award Submission Form. On the submission form you select the chosen category and the correct form will appear. Please note that the forms do not retain your information so it is advisable to prepare and save your text in advance in case there is a problem! Also please have your purchase order number ready or your credit card ready. All Submissions to Award categories will be charged a handling fee of £75 (+ VAT) except the Researcher, Library, Employee and Lifetime Achievement award categories which are free to enter. We can only take Mastercard or Visa and you should have it cleared for overseas transactions in advance. Good luck!!

Depending on the category and the topic, in general the Judges will be looking for examples of work where:

1) footage is central to the success of the production or it has given it an added value
2) intelligent use of archival footage has helped the understanding of the topic or illustrated it in a way that words alone could not do
3) traditional construction or innovative use of footage has managed to portray a topic in a unique way

Judges will also consider any of the following:

1) has the archive material been widely seen?
2) what efforts have been made to find new and / or appropriate footage?
3) what efforts that have been made to ensure that the footage looks as good as possible?
4) does what is seen on the screen match what the commentary or interviews say?
5) is the programme's narration factually accurate?
6) is the use of footage historically accurate?

The criteria are deliberately loose, as submitted productions may be judged in a variety of ways and for a variety of reasons.

NB. Footage is considered to consist of moving images and so productions consisting predominantly of stills will not be considered in the same way by the Jury.

General Guidelines:

1. To qualify, a work must have been broadcast, screened or published, for the first time in some territory or on some platform, between 1st January 2016 and 31st December 2016 (the qualifying period).

2. To be considered, all Submission Forms and supporting visual material must be received at the FOCAL office no later than 1st December 2016 (late delivery of visual material will only be allowed for those programmes which are due for transmission during December 2016).

3. All Submissions to Award categories will be charged a handling fee of £75 (+ VAT) except the Researcher, Library, Employee and Lifetime Achievement award categories which are free to enter. No more than TWO submissions of the same title to different 'programme' categories is allowed. Payment can be made online at the time of submission, or, an invoice can be generated. If you choose to pay by invoice please make sure you make your payment before 1st December 2016. If you need to raise a purchase order, please arrange it before filling in the submission form and make sure that you give the correct reference on the payment form. NB. In submitting a programme it is expected that you have the financial resources to send a representative to the Awards ceremony 25th May 2017, if the submission is shortlisted, and at your own expense. FOCAL International is a 'not for profit' trade association and is not able to offer free tickets to the ceremony or to subsidise any travel or accommodation.

4. Submissions are open to all production companies, broadcasters, advertisers, footage archives, facility houses, individuals etc. worldwide. Anyone can nominate an employer, colleague, supplier or client but you must have their authorisation. You do not need to be a FOCAL International Member to participate in this section of the competition. However, for the Library and Employee categories only, you or your company must be a fully paid up members of FOCAL International.

5. Submissions are only valid using the online FOCAL International Awards Submissions Entry Form accessed via

6. Where supporting visual material is required please upload a digital file (if that is not possible then please provide a minimum of 3 copies on DVD-All Zones unlocked). Viewing material should be in English, dubbed or subtitled. If this is not possible, then the submitter should accept that, since the common language of the international jury is English, the submission is unlikely to receive due consideration.

NB. For Restorations 5 copies on fully authored Blu-ray or DVD (All zones 'unlocked') is preferred.
For Video or Television Restoration submissions, please follow the digital file delivery guidelines below. For restorations of original foreign language films, English version is not vital, but helpful.)

NB. Digital file upload guidelines: Please use the following upload link and name the file with the title of the production using underscore and no spaces
Please prepare your video entry to the following specifications:
File format preferred: .mp4, .mov (also accepted: .avi, .dv, .wmv, .mp2, .mpg)
Video codec preferred: H.264/AVC, ideally 2-20 megabits per second (mbps). (Several ‘open’ video coding formats are accepted).
Audio codec preferred: AAC (160kbps or higher) (also accepted: PCM, Apple lossless).
Frame rate preferred: 24, 25, 30, 29.97
Aspect ratio and resolution preferred: 720p, 1080p, 4:3 SD (640 x 480) 16:9 SD (640 x 360). (Other aspect ratios and resolutions suitable to your content may be accepted).
Note: please do not add ‘letterbox’ or ‘pillarbox’ rendering to your video.

7. In entering the competition, the submitter accepts all responsibility for: A) gaining the consent of the Producer of the work cited B) ensuring that any further clearances are gained where deemed necessary to comply with the Entry Guidelines C) can provide written proof of the above, upon request.

8. The submitter of the Entry indemnifies FOCAL International against any claims that might arise out of its use of any visual materials supplied to support a Submission in the various ways stated above.

9. Submission of a work does not guarantee nomination.

10. From the initial Submissions, a Jury will shortlist the top 3 per Award category. Final Nominations will be announced in March 2017.

11. The international Jury will comprise a minimum of 3 Jurors per Award category. Members of the Jury will be respected professionals drawn from the international footage community. The Jury names will be listed in the Awards ceremony brochure. No Juror with a vested interest in a particular submission will be allowed to serve on the relevant Award category.

12. From the shortlisted nominations, voting for the Winner in each Award category will be by the respective panels of jurors, and in many instances, FOCAL International Members will also be able to add their votes. Access to view submissions online will only be allowed by registered members of the Jury or FOCAL International members who will be given password protected unique user access.

13. Shortlisted nominees will be notified in March 2017, whereupon they agree to provide TWO suitable 30 second clips showing the best use of footage with IN and OUT points which will be edited into the clip compilation to be shown on the night of the Awards Ceremony. Shortlisted nominees will also agree to provide a minimum of 2 promotional stills of the work for inclusion in the Awards Brochure and slide show at the ceremony.

14. Winners will be announced at the Awards presentation 25th May 2017 and those collecting Awards accept that their photographic image will be replicated in Archive Zones magazine, on the FOCAL website and in promotional advertisements and posters.

15. The decisions of the international Jury and those FOCAL International Members eligible to vote are final.

16. FOCAL International reserves the right to reject any submission or nomination at any time without prior consultation with the submitter.

17. The Jury reserves the right to change the category to which a Submission is made if they feel another category to be more appropriate; however this will be done in consultation with the submitter.

18. In the event of multiple entries of the same name or title from different people to the same category, the Jury will confer with the submitters in deciding which single entry is accepted.

19. FOCAL International accepts no responsibility for non-receipt of any electronic submission or supporting visual material, however, we will be contacting each submitter to verify when their submission is complete.

20. FOCAL International will endeavour to protect any supporting visual material such as digital files or DVD's once in its possession, but it accepts no responsibility for any loss or damage, and it will NOT return any such material to the sender except under exceptional circumstances, or where the submitter is willing to pay for delivery. However, full master copies of the Final Nominations received on Beta SP or Digi Beta will be returned upon request. 

21. Shortlisted nominees may be asked for permission to show the programmes shortlisted non-theatrically following the Awards presentation.

22. The submitter accepts that their contact details will be stored on a database for use by FOCAL International only.

23. Participation in the FOCAL International Awards implies full acceptance of the Guidelines to the competition.

Additional Guidelines - there is No Charge for the following categories and no need to send any moving images except for the Researcher Award which does require supporting visual material.

1. The Jane Mercer Footage Researcher of the Year Award. The recipient(s) is NOT restricted to FOCAL International members. Anyone can nominate a suitable candidate or the Jury may nominate individuals during the course of the Jury process. The recipient will be chosen by a Jury, whose decision will be final.

2. The Award for Library of the Year. Anyone can nominate a library which must be a fully paid up company member of FOCAL International. The recipient will be chosen by a Special Jury.

3. The Award for Footage Employee of the Year. Anyone, except the person concerned, can nominate an employee of a company which must be a fully paid up member of FOCAL International. The recipient will be chosen by a Special Jury.

4. The Award for Lifetime Achievement. Anyone can nominate anyone, with their permission. The nominee's CV will need to be attached to the online submission text. The recipient will be chosen by the FOCAL International Executive, whose decision will be final.

5. It is within the power of the Jury to grant a further award under the title The FOCAL International Special Award. The criteria used to make such an award will be at the discretion of the Jury whose decision is final.

For further information:
+44 (0)20 3178 3535

Our Sponsors

Getty Images
LOLA Clips
Film London
ITV Sport Archive
Nature Picture Library
Visual Data Services
British Pathe
Pinewood Studios Group
AP Archive
Creative Skillset

View All

On the Night...

Kate Adie and Lord Puttnam

Lifetime Achievement Trophy

Kate Adie

Tony, Fiona, Bob

Ray Davies

Raelene and Lee

Jody Winterbottom

Robert and Jenny

Joe Lauro


Anne Johnson and ?

Jessica and Cathy

Raelene and Kev

? and Greg

Janet, Simon, Jo

Victoria Stable (middle)

Obi and guests

Bob, Kate, Tony, Clyde

Amanda Dantas and hostesses

Sue Malden

SKY team

Fremantle MediaArchive

Richard Melman and Simon Wood

Colleen and Alexis STALKR

Restoration team behind MARIUS

Tim Emblem-English (right)

Guests from Universal

Lucie and ?

Victoria, Julie and Susan

Antoine and Susanne

Maggi Cook

Stuart, Steve and Vero

Trevor Phillips

Kate and Denis

Margaret Bodde and Lord Puttnam

Jerry, Jessica, Cathy

Denis and Paul


Bob and Margaret


View All

Opening Ceremony 2016 Chair Sue Malden and Event Organiser Julie Lewis


Host Kate Adie


FOCAL Awards Promo