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Winners celebrate at FOCAL International Awards 2011

12 May 2011

BEST OF THE FOOTAGE AND RESTORATION INDUSTRY CELEBRATE AWARDS
Lancaster London Hotel, 11th May 2011

Last night’s prestigious FOCAL International Awards in association with AP Archive honoured a crop of excellent documentaries, films and other non-TV productions for their innovative and inspiring use of library footage, plus some remarkable restoration work that has been done to preserve our cultural heritage.

FOCAL International the trade body representing the world’s footage archives, professional footage researchers, consultants and facility houses welcomed over 300 media professionals from the UK and around the world to enjoy an evening of glamour, with Chairman of the British Film Institute and Former Director General of the BBC Greg Dyke, FOCAL International’s Patron, presenting the Awards.

Now into its 8th year, the FOCAL International Awards in association with AP Archive had received 233 submissions from 20 countries. These accolades – 18 awards in total - 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.

Following last year’s win by Mr Martin Scorsese for the Best Restoration and Preservation Award for The Red Shoes, it was the turn of the BFI National Archive to get the prize for the restoration of The Great White Silence in the single title section. The Award for Best Restoration and Preservation Project went to The Chaplin Keystone Project commissioned by Lobster Films and restored by them together with the BFI and Cineteca di Bologna. Lobster Films also picked up the Award for Best Use of Footage on Non-TV Platforms for the website Europa Film Treasures, but CEO Serge Bromberg could only convey his thanks via video as he was at the Cannes Film Festival for the premiere of his restoration of Georges Melies’ Trip to the Moon – an obvious contender for next year’s awards.

The international scope of these prestigious awards was evident with production companies based in France picking up two of the Best Use of Footage in a Factual Production Awards for Dissidents (Zadig Productions) and Première Passion (Vivement Lundi!, Lobster Films, Blink Productions) with the third prize, of equal standing, going to the Canadian production Reel Injun (Rezolution Pictures International). This sometimes amusing analysis of how the North American ‘Injun’ has been depicted on screen and television over the years has already clocked up several awards and is packed with hundreds of clips.

When it comes to documentaries using music archive footage, the BBC usually has strong contenders and no less this year with Arena’s Johnny Mercer – The Dream’s on Me beating Latin Music USA to scoop the prize of Best use of Footage in an Arts Production featuring Music. There was also a separate prize in the Arts category for Cinema Komunisto (Dribbling Pictures, Yugoslavia) described as a ‘labour of love’ charting the history of the state subsidised Yugoslav film industry, as was, under Tito.

The wonderful documentary A Thousand Encores: The Ballets Russes in Australia (Flaming Star Films) was nominated in the Arts category, but it also featured in the
DVD box-set Firebird and Other Legends (Flaming Star Films, ABC TV, ABC Commercial, Screen Australia, Film Victoria) which won the Award for Best Use of Footage in a Home Entertainment Release.

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 or Drama Production for The Great British Outdoors. It was the work done on this production that contributed towards Phil Clark earning the accolade Jane Mercer Footage Researcher of the Year Award.

Sport featured prominently in two of the winning productions. Fire in Babylon (Passion Pictures) about the supremacy of the West Indies cricket team in the 1970s and 1980s picked up the Award for Best Use of Footage in a Cinema Release whilst One Night in Turin (New Black Films) about England’s Italia ‘90 football campaign picked up the Best Use of Sports Footage Award.
The innovative short production Dust (Stylus Films) picked up an award for its use of NASA footage as did the Greek production A Place Without People (Anemon Productions).

Clips & Footage, received the popular vote from FOCAL International members to become Footage Library of the Year and their Jenny Coan won the Employee of the Year Award.

Finally, this year’s annual Lifetime Achievement Award went to John Herron, who started work at Elstree Studios in 1958 and has only recently retire. He has been credited with maintaining and saving one of Britain’s most important archives of heritage films such as The Third Man, Kind Hearts and Coronets and classic television programmes, like The Avengers, through a period of sustained upheaval and change of ownership.

For a full list of winners and awards, plus production credits see: www.focalint.org


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

Dissidents (Zadig Productions)

2)
Award for Best Use of Footage in a Factual Production
Sponsored by ITN Source

Première Passion (Vivement Lundi!, Lobster Films, Blink Productions)

3)
Award for Best Use of Footage in a Factual Production
Sponsored by INA

Reel Injun (Rezolution Pictures International)


Award for Best Use of Footage in an Entertainment or Drama Production
Sponsored by Fremantlemedia – Archive Sales

The Great British Outdoors (BBC Entertainment)

Award for Best Use of Footage in an Arts Production
Sponsored by Clips & Footage

Cinema Komunisto (Dribbling Pictures)


Award for Best Use of Footage in an Arts Production featuring Music
Sponsored by Getty Images

Arena: Johnny Mercer – The Dream’s on Me (BBC Arena, Rhapsody Productions)


Award for Best Use of Wildlife and Natural History Footage
Sponsored by Framepool

A Place Without People (Anemon Productions)


Award for Best Use of Sports Footage
Sponsored by ITV Sport Archive

One Night in Turin (New Black Films)


Award for Best Use of Footage in a Short Production
Sponsored by WRN Broadcast

Dust (Stylus Films)


Award for Best Use of Footage on Non-television Platforms
Sponsored by Photolibrary

Europa Film Treasures www.europafilmtreasures.eu (Lobster Films)


Award for Best Use of Footage in a Home Entertainment Release
Sponsored by Broadcast

Firebird and Other Legends with A Thousand Encores: The Ballets Russes in Australia (Flaming Star Films, ABC TV, ABC Commercial, Screen Australia, Film Victoria)


Award for Best Use of Footage in a Cinema Release
Sponsored by ITN Source

Fire in Babylon (Passion Pictures)


Award for Best Archive Restoration or Preservation Project
Sponsored by BBC Studios and Post Production

The Chaplin Keystone Project
(Commissioned by Lobster Films under the aegis of the Chaplin Estate / Association Chaplin. Restoration by BFI, Cineteca di Bologna, Lobster Films)


Award for Best Archive Restoration or Preservation Title
Sponsored by Technicolor

The Great White Silence (1924)
(Commissioned by the BFI, Restoration by Deluxe Digital)


The Jane Mercer Footage Researcher of the Year Award
Sponsored by AP Archive

Phil Clark, for The Great British Outdoors, Blackpool on Film, Paws, Claws and Videotape


Footage Library Employee of the Year
Sponsored by Deluxe Digital, London

Jenny Coan (Clips & Footage)


Footage Library of the Year
Supported by Film London and London Screen Archives

Clips & Footage


Lifetime Achievement Award
A gift of the FOCAL International Executive

John Herron