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FOCAL International Awards press release

6 May 2009

For Lord Puttnam's keynote speech and photos of winners see: www.focalint.org/focalawards

FOCAL International the trade body representing the world’s footage archives, professional footage researchers, consultants and facility houses enjoyed an evening of glamour and celebration on 5th May at their 6th FOCAL International Awards in association with AP Archive at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, London.

Category winners represented the diversity of genres and platforms that contemporary archive and footage based productions span today; highlights included the BBC stealing the Award for Best Use of Footage in an Entertainment Production for The Great British Sunday from Shine Ltd who had two strong contenders with Comedy Songs and The Most Annoying Couples.

The international scope of these prestigious awards was evident with two out of the three winners in the Best Use of Footage in Factual Productions being US producers: 102 Minutes that Changed America (Siskel Jacobs Productions) and The Night James Brown Saved Boston ( David Leaf Productions ) with the BBC’s The Unseen Alistair Cooke also winning.

Four programmes were in contention for the Best use of Footage in an Arts, Music or Drama production covering the lives of Phil Spector, Johnny Cash and Ralph Vaughan Williams, but it was the BBC’s The Thirties in Colour series which eventually won.

There were some surprising results with Graham Hill – Driven ( Mark Stewart Productions ) beating Thriller in Manila(Darlow Smithson Productions)in the Best use of Sports Footage, however the latter won Paul GardnerThe Jane Mercer Footage Researcher of the Year Award acknowledging not only the difficulties of licensing sports footage, but also the skill of sourcing obscure and sensitive material to illustrate the social history of the ‘70s in America.

Another surprising result was the restoration of the Kinora reels from the early 1900s winning an award over the monumental restoration of the David Lean collection of feature films by the BFI and ITV Global Entertainment. However, it highlighted the importance of all such vital and skilled work that goes into saving film heritage, especially when it brings back to life a dead technology as in the case of the Kinora reels which required Blue Post Production to construct a special rig to convert the individual images to a digital format.

Terence Davies’ Of Time and The City (Hurricane Films) constructed of 80% archive footage mostly sourced by researcher Jim Anderson, won the Award for Best Use of Footage in a Feature production.

French archive INA won an award for their fascinating Mysteries in the Archives, which looks at particular historical events and analyses how the footage has been used, whilst the CBC / Radio-Canada Digital Archives was acknowledged as a winner for its user-friendly and educational website offering over 12,000 television and radio clips covering Canada’s social and political history.

Great use of footage was made in the three advertisements for EDF, NIKE and NOKIA which were shortlisted for an award but it was NOKIA: Days which won for Jack Morton Worldwide. Humour was also used to great effect in the three productions nominated for the Award for Best use of Footage in a Short production which included the Cold Play video Violet Hill and Britain Recut made using BFI footage, but it was the novel use of footage in Jay-Z’s intro at last year’s Glastonbury which won for Princess Productions.

The 2009 awards were presented by celebrated British film-maker Lord Puttnam, FOCAL International’s Chair of Patrons. In his keynote speech he talked of the footage industry moving from a passive to an active stage . “It is no longer only about the collection, preservation and management of our archives – the significant development to come is about the exciting and different ways in which archive content will be made accessible in a wide range of educational, heritage and commercial new platforms.”

The judging panel, which included veteran history producer Jerry Kuehl, chose winners from 180 submissions from 14 countries. These awards spanned 17 categories designed to recognise productions which have used library archive and stock footage in an imaginative and innovative way and to acknowledge the work of key services involved with preservation and restoration, plus those archives and individuals who have served the industry well.

The evening welcomed a host of footage archive executives, researchers, technicians and other media professionals from the UK and around the world, including France, Ireland, Germany, Canada the USA.

Further highlights included the BBC winning an award for Best use of Wildlife Footage in the Natural World: Clever Monkeys.

UK based archive Clips & Footage, received the popular vote from FOCAL International members to become Footage Library of the Year whilst Alan Bradshaw who works at AP Archive won the individual award for services provided.

This year’s annual Lifetime Achievement Award went to Roy Harris, who recently retired after more than 25 years service in CBC’s Archive Sales. Roy Harris declared, “ My proudest achievement however, was my ability to get the CBC to allow me to establish an “unofficial” environment in which the role of CBC TV Archive Sales was to support the independent film making community in Canada by ensuring that no Canadian film makers were denied fair access to the footage they needed to get their shows to air.” However, his benevolent work was not confined to Canada, a s one UK based researcher Judy Patterson said, “In a world that has been changing so fast for archives and users alike, the extraordinary knowledge, immense generosity and inspirational guidance of Roy Harris has stood out like an oasis in a growing desert.”

These accolades represent the only global competition dedicated to the celebration of the use of footage by producers together with the recognition of achievements of professionals within the archive industry.

FULL LIST OF WINNERS:

A Summary of the winners for the FOCAL International Awards 2009 in association with AP Archive can be found below:

Awards for Best Use of Footage in Factual Productions (3 awards of equal standing )

1) Award for Best Use of Footage in a Factual Production
Sponsored by BBC Motion Gallery
102 Minutes that Changed America
Produced by Siskel Jacobs Productions

2) Award for Best Use of Footage in a Factual Production
Sponsored by National Film Board of Canada
The Night James Brown Saved Boston
Produced by David Leaf Productions

3) Award for Best Use of Footage in a Factual Production
Sponsored by INA
The Unseen Alistair Cooke
Produced by BBC Bristol Factual

Award for Best Use of Footage in an Entertainment Production
Sponsored by Fremantlemedia – Archive Sales
The Great British Sunday
Produced by BBC Entertainment & Events

Award for Best Use of Footage in an Arts, Music or Drama Production
Sponsored by Clips & Footage
The Thirties in Colour
Produced by BBC Vision, Factual, Arts

Award for Best Use of Wildlife and Natural History Stock Footage
Sponsored by Framepool
Natural World: Clever Monkeys
Produced by BBC Natural History Unit

Award for Best Use of Sports Footage
Sponsored by ITV Sport Archive
Graham Hill - Driven
Produced by Mark Stewart Productions

Award for Best Use of Footage in an Advertisement or Corporate Production
Sponsored by Huntley Film Archives
Nokia: ‘Days’
Produced by Jack Morton Worldwide

Award for Best Use of Footage in a Short Production
Sponsored by PRS for Music
Jay-Z intro at Glastonbury Festival
Produced by Princess Productions

Award for Best Use of Footage in a Training or Education Production
Sponsored by Skillset
Mysteries in the Archives
Produced by INA

Award for Best Use of Footage on Non-television Platforms
Sponsored by Hubert Best at ENN
CBC/Radio-Canada Digital Archives Website
Produced by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation / La Société Radio-Canada

Award for Best Use of Footage in a Feature Production
Sponsored by ITN Source
Of Time and the City
Produced by Hurricane Films Ltd

Award for Best Archive Restoration or Preservation Project
Sponsored by BBC Studios and Post Production
Kinora reels from circa 1911
Produced by the R&A Archive together with Blue Post Production

The Jane Mercer Footage Researcher of the Year Award
Sponsored by AP Archive
Paul Gardner for Thriller in Manila
Produced by Darlow Smithson Productions

Footage Library Person of the Year
Sponsored by Deluxe Digital, London
Alan Bradshaw at AP Archive

Footage Library of the Year
Sponsored by Film London and London Screen Archives
Clips & Footage

Lifetime Achievement Award
Roy Harris
For Lord Puttnam's keynote speech and photos of winners see: www.focalint.org/focalawards