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The FOCAL International Awards 2005


  • AWARD:

  • APTN Library

  • Sponsored by: APTN Library

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Adrian Wood & Polly Pettit for Japan's War

TWI/Carlton   |   UK

  • David Batty
  • -
  • Adrian Wood & Polly Pettit
  • NARA, NHK & Private Sources, IWM, Footage Farm, Technovoid

Using unique colour film, combined with readings from letters and diaries, it tells the story of Japan's involvement in the Second World War. From China through to Pearl Harbor and the dropping of the atomic bomb, the programme shows remarkable film that gives an entirely new perspective on the events of the period.

Reasons for Submission:

First, these researchers have provided an insight into the lesser known history of Japan by searching out material that has never been seen before. Secondly, that it is in colour makes it even more remarkable, particularly as it often required expertise and great perseverance to establish this. Finally, their researches encompassed libraries and archives throughout the world, which over a period of time have contributed to an altered perception - in a very positive way - of the archival film record of 20th century history.

Ali Kazimi for Continuous Journey

Peripheral Visions Film & Video Inc   |   Canada

  • Ali Kazimi
  • Ali Kazimi
  • Ali Kazimi
  • National Archives of Canada, NARA

In 1914, the Komagata Maru, a vessel with 376 immigrants from British India, became the first ship carrying migrants to be turned away by Canada. The consequences were felt throughout the British Empire. More than a history film, Continuous Journey, is a provocative, moving and multilayered film essay that interweaves photographs, newsreels, home movies and official documents to unravel a complex and little-known story. Winner, Second Place- Audience Award and Honourable Mention for Best Director, Hot Docs 2004

Reasons for Submission:

"This is an impossible film to do. There are only a dozen or so photographs and no film archive - you cannot tell this story in a documentary. " This was the most common refrain from broadcasters and funders when I tried pitching the idea to them eight years ago. I, on the other hand was convinced that it was possible and also had a feeling that footage of the events of 1914 did exist. I did put out a plea on the list serve of the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) and got back several calls from all over North America from archivists telling me why they thought this event was never documented and if it was the footage had not survived. "It's like looking for a needle in haystack. We have been looking for 90 years and it has not shown up". But I persisted - choosing to do the archival research on my own trying to pull together every bit of footage from that era that I could to tell the story, thinking of the film as I searched and it paid off. I did find it and having done the primary document research also helped, because I could recognise what I was seeing - the footage had been mislabelled. An essential chapter of early twentieth century Canadian, British and South Asian history has now come to light. The rest of the film made by digitally weaving together home movies (my own and from my collection of estate films), still photographs, primary documents, newspaper clippings and artefacts like stamps and medals. I am quite proud of the work that has gone into this film and feel that the Focal Awards are wonderful place to submit it for consideration.

Angela Spindler-Brown for The War at Sea - Eps. Will to Win

BBC   |   UK

  • Mike Rossiter
  • Mike Rossiter
  • Angela Spindler-Brown
  • Imperial War Museum, Images of War, Huntlley Film Archives, Clips & Footage, Royal Airforce Museum Hendon

The Will To Win was a part of the BBC2 series of The War At Sea. The documentary told the story of the Royal Navy and its fight to control the Mediterranean during the first eighteen months of the Second World War - when Britain was fighting the Axis powers on her own. The Navy used air power to sink the Italian fleet at Taranto, and to cripple the Bismark, but the Germans had their revenge at Malta and Crete. The Japanese, however, learnt the lessons of Taranto, and their attack on Pearl Harbour brought Britain's isolation to an end.

Reasons for Submission

The Will to Win, part of the BBC2 documentary series The War at Sea, used archive material in an innovative way, seamlessly contrasting historical footage with more recent images. The finished documentary provided a vivid portrait of forgotten naval battles from the Second World War, while highlighting less well known aspects of the conflict. The footage showed the use of aircraft carriers and the operations of the Fleet Air Arm - at the time the cutting edge in naval technology and strategy - making the story relevant to contemporary viewers. The use of archive footage made eye witness accounts of key events, such as the sinking of French fleet at Oran, come alive. A great deal of underwater archive footage was utilised, juxtaposed with newer images that allowed the audience to observe the current state of these wrecks. Archive footage therefore successfully fulfilled three important functions of illustration, evidence and verification.

Ann Hummel for Forum Barcelona - Voices Exhibit

Tomato Films   |   UK

  • Abi Hodson
  • Simon Taylor
  • Anne Hummel
  • BBC Motion Gallery, ITN Archive, Granada Collection, National Geographic Film Library, APTN Library, Moving Image Communications

Audio visual content for Forum 2004 Voices exhibit, which ran from May 2004 for 5 months in Barcelona. Voices is dedicated to diversity, one of the core themes of the Forum. The objective of the exhibition is to celebrate human communication and linguistic and cultural diversity. The central dome structure comprised of 28 screens of various sizes positioned around an amphitheatre 32m in diameter. The film, directed by Simon Taylor, was programmed through a central server to incorporate the 28 screens. Multiple and single images along side typography were choreographed making the most of the three dimensional space creating an immersive environment. In addition a 100m wall, comprising of 24 screens, featuring 96 separate languages ran along side the central audio visual, resulting in a total of 52 different films shown simultaneously. Sometimes the screens showed the same image everywhere; other moments featured different images on every screen. The films were synchronized to merge in a moment of ‘collapse' at one point in the ten minute show.

Reasons for Submission:

Combines specially shot with archive footage to make a linear film 52 mins in length, which when projected onto 28 screens has a screening duration of 10 mins. Technically this was a challenge when editing and programming server. Graphics and music are combined with footage to create a stimulating experience. The languages, images and graphics featured explore diversity through linguistics, The film includes diverse cultures from around the world, and shows how they communicate in their own individual ways. It looks at communication through gesture, facial expression, language, the written word, music, clothing, This exhibit proved to be both stimulating and informative, educating audiences in a non traditional way and promoting those languages nearing extinction.

Carl Deal for Fahrenheit 9/11

Westside Productions/Dog Eat Dog Films   |   USA

  • Michael Moore
  • Michael Moore
  • Carl Deal
  • -

Fahrenheit 9/11 is Michael Moore's expose of the Bush administration's actions following the 9/11 terror attacks in the US. With humor and commitment to uncovering facts, the film shows how President Bush exploited 9/11 to implement a radical right-wing agenda. It examines how -- and why – Bush avoided pursuing the Saudi connection to 9/11, and shows a nation paralyzed by fear and lulled into accepting a legislative assault on civil rights, The USA Patriot Act. It is in this atmosphere that the Bush Administration makes a headlong rush to war in Iraq, without serious questions from the media. Fahrenheit 9/11 takes the viewer inside the lies to illustrate the awful human cost of war.

Reasons for Submission:

As the Archival Producer for Fahrenheit 9/11, Carl Deal was responsible for more than footage research and acquisition: he helped conceptualize the film from start to finish. The magnitude of the archival component was astounding. More than 2000 research tapes from 300 sources around the world were logged and loaded in the Avids. The 9/11 audio sequence itself drew from nearly 20 discreet sources. At its core, the film relies on archival news footage and outtakes, and non-traditional sources, to counter the US Administration's version of the news. Carl tracked the Iraq war images that were not being shown in the US, working with a dozen freelance journalists and activists who shared their footage. He uncovered never before broadcast images related to the President and his associates, and thousands more hours of footage from every continent and in every imaginable format. In the end, images were licensed from more than 60 separate sources, among them network news archives, overseas broadcasters, independent journalists, public institutions, local TV, commercial stock houses, NGO's, activists, corporations and film studios. Carl managed the entire job calmly, creatively, and efficiently.

Elizabeth Klinck For Ronnie Hawkins: Still Alive and Kickin'

Real Hawk Productions Inc   |   Canada

  • Anne Pick
  • Anne Pick
  • Elizabeth Klinck
  • Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Amulet Pictures - The Hawk, Music Films LLC, Dick Clark Media Archives, National Film Board of Canada

In “Ronnie Hawkins: Still Alive and Kickin' “ we spend a roller coaster year with The Hawk, the Arkansas rocker who brought rock and roll to Canada in 1959, became the King of Yonge Street and saw his Hawks morph into The Band. Following the story from his original cancer diagnosis through to its cure we get all of Ronnie Hawkins: the Idol, the Family Man, and The Patient staring down “The Big Rocker in the sky.” Alternately the consummate Southern gentleman, a foul-mouthed “old boy,” an unparalleled storyteller, a loving husband, stubborn, vulnerable and dependent, afraid, defiant, one of the funniest men that ever lived, and the Pope of rock and roll: it's Ronnie Hawkins, warts and all, like he's never been seen before.

Reasons for Submission:

Elizabeth Klinck is, without doubt, Canada's leading and most respected, archive research specialist. Her dedication and enthusiasm to each project, her vast research knowledge and her extensive network of contacts with international footage sources, makes her highly sought after in our industry. Elizabeth's experience and research expertise enables her to locate the most obscure and rare footage swiftly and her knowledge and strong relationships with source contacts allows for successful negotiation of affordable rates and fast clearances. Her research skills turned over many interesting sources for our project and she was relentless in pursuing ownership trails and when the TV premiere was scheduled on short notice, she came to the fore to expedite clearance. Elizabeth also researched and cleared all music licences, negotiating very good deals for us on a tight budget. Her tireless efforts also enabled us to contact Dan Aykroyd directly, to narrate the 90 minute version.

Eve Caille for D-Day Le Débarquement, La Nuit La Plus Longue

RetG Productions   |   France

  • Stephane Revon & Jerome Gateau
  • Jerome Gateau
  • Eve Caille
  • INA Média, Gaumont Pathé Archive, Memorial de Caen, Archives de Guerre

A programme in 2 parts: First Part Entertainment: Music live and footage (20h50 00h00) live broadcast in little town in Normandy, Sainte Mère Eglise in memory of the landing the 6 June 1944, Second Part: 7 hours to live the landing as the famous day 6 June 1944, a talk show with specialist of second War and Veterans of the landing and every half an hour a little actuality flash with only footage to explain the night of the landing on the Normandy beaches.

Reasons for Submission:

This was a very ambitiou programme incorporating large amounts of archive footage and live broadcast over 10 hours from the famous town of Normandy Sainte Mère Eglise. This programme is primarily to pay tribute for all the soldiers from different countries who came in Normandy to save Europe on the 6th of June 1944.

Gimena Arensburg for Nobody's Death: The Enigma of Heinz Ches

Malvarrosa Media   |   Spain

  • Joan Dolç
  • Joan Dolç
  • Gimena Arensburg
  • Archivo Historico NODO, Archivo TVE, ITN Archive, Chronos Media, RBB Media

In 1974, the enigmatic Heinz Ches was the last person sentenced to death and executed in Franco's Spain. Who was in fact Heinz Ches? Was he homeless? A Stasi agent? A revolutionary anarchist? Was he a Pole? A German? A stateless man? Guilty or innocent? Was it a crime by the state? Why has no one ever claimed his body? Nobody's Death unveils all this enigmas: “He was not called Heinz Ches. His name is Georg. M. Welzel. That man is my brother...”

Reasons for Submission:

In the unwritten code of the Spanish Transition period from a dictatorship to a democracy, the prohibition of poking into our recent memory was implicit. In many cases it was equivalent to an unwritten law of “final point” that forbade us from re-visiting known episodes in order to re-interpret them and place its protagonists in their corresponding place. The case of Heinz Ches is one of these episodes. By reinstating Heinz Ches with his real identity, not only do we face a debt with someone who was deprived of any signs of humanity, we also fulfil a duty towards ourselves, that of looking at ourselves in the mirror of our recent past and confronting the judgement of some facts that, not for being ignored, stop implying us morally. The footage used in the documentary has been a key tool to implement this task and duty by allowing us to reconstruct the recent past of Spain and Germany.

Karen Walsh & Team for All New TV's Naughtiest Blunders - Eps. 10 of 12

Carlton Television (now Granada Productions)   |   UK

  • Janet McBride
  • Janet McBride
  • Karen Walsh & Team
  • Carlton Television, ITN Archive, Granada Visual Collection, Action Time, BBC Motion Gallery, ITN Archive

Containing an average of 150 clips per 75 minute show, All New TV's Naughtiest Blunders is designed to appeal to a mainstream ITV prime-time audience. It contains a mix of risqué out-takes and blooper material from dramas, entertainment shows, news reports and unfortunate incidents which occurred live on air, all drawn together through the narration of Neil Morrissey. Featuring some of Britain's most famous actors and TV personalities the shows give a glimpse behind the scenes of TV production and an insight into the personalities behind the characters. Series four was made up of 12 X 75 minutes transmitted wrapped around the ITV News at 10.30pm

Reasons for Submission:

Footage was obtained from a huge number of sources throughout Britain and around the world, from traditional archives and via grass-roots research direct from Independent Productions and broadcasters. Extremely difficult material to find and clear with producers and artists often unwilling to part with clips, the variety of sources successfully identified and material obtained is a testament to the dedication, efficiency and powers of persuasion of the team. Producing an average of one show every three weeks throughout 2004 they were subject to constant deadlines leaving little time to source new material and clear all artists for the approximately 150 clips required for each edit. The material just kept on coming, never missing a deadline, always of a high standard and most importantly always cleared. TV's Naughtiest Blunders is consistently one of ITV's highest rating shows, regularly winning it's slot and appealing to a wide range of viewers of all ages.

Laurie Kahn-Leavitt for Tupperware

Blueberry Hill Productions   |   USA

  • Laurie Kahn-Leavitt
  • Laurie Kahn-Leavitt
  • Robin Hessman
  • Tupperware Inc Collection, Private Collections/Home Movies, Getty Images: Archive Films/Prelinger Collection, ABC News Videosource, Smithsonian Archive Center, Florida State Archives

Tupperware! tells the remarkable story of Earl Silas Tupper, an ambitious but reclusive small-town inventor, and Brownie Wise, the self-taught saleswoman who built him an empire out of bowls that burped. Brownie was an intuitive marketing genius who trained an army of Tupperware Ladies to put on Tupperware parties in living rooms across America in the 1950s. The film includes rare footage collected from basements, attics and back rooms: color home movies taken by Tupperware Ladies and Jubilee footage shot by Tupperware Home Parties, as well as ads and television excerpts from the period. The footage is interwoven with fabulous and funny stories told by the Tupperware Ladies who witnessed the company's early years.

Reasons for Submission:

The archival research for Tupperware! took the filmmakers into places where they discovered rich, unknown film collections. They discovered boxes of outtakes that hadn't been seen for fifty years in the Tupperware company archives in Florida, they found wonderful home movies that had been lost or forgotten in private homes all over the country (materials interviewees had stored in their attics, garages, and basements), and they found a barn full of archival footage and photos documenting the early years of the first home party company, Stanley Home Products. In many instances, producer Kahn-Leavitt encouraged the owners of the film to donate their collections to archives where their film would be preserved and made accessible to others, and she helped make this happen by introducing the film owners to archivists. Research for TUPPERWARE! also took the filmmakers into numerous obscure collections of ephemeral films, as well as well-known collections of old television ads and television shows. All of this work resulted in an award-winning film (Banff history/bio prize and Emmy nomination for best direction) that has brought to light an important but neglected story in American history.

Peter Scott for Who Do You Think You Are? Eps. Sue Johnston

Wall to Wall   |   UK

  • Victoria Watson
  • Kate O'Driscoll
  • Peter Scott
  • Huntley Film Archives, BFI, Film Images, British Movietonews, ITN, British Pathé Collection

The format of the series was to demonstrate a sense of place and time through family genealogy. The family histories, while of well known people, also reflected typical families and generations, and the sense of satisfaction derived from exploring your own family history.

Reasons for Submission:

Peter Scott always seems to produce consistently good work. He never applies the lazy man's approach to film research, but approaches all the libraries, watches every frame, thinks about every shot choice. We have never known him not to ask our opinion and seriously look at the suggestions we make. He works through the ideas with the archive, and is never precious about sharing his thoughts. Wall to Wall are clearly pleased. When we phoned to speak to him when he wasn't there, they said when you do get in touch, thank him for what he did to make this series the success it is. Debbie Townsend turned down the chance to share this nomination "It was Peter who was the driving force," she said. Fantastic work and a great person to work with.

Ruth Halliday for Life and Death of Peter Sellers

Labrador Films + Home Box Office   |   USA

  • Simon Bousanquet
  • Stephen Hopkins
  • Ruth Halliday
  • Huntley Film Archives, World Backgrounds, ITN Archive, British Pathe Collection, Carlton / Granada International, Canal Plus

The feature adaptation of Roger Lewis' book about the actor best remembered as Inspector Clouseau in the Pink Panther movies.

Reasons for Submission:

Many well researched archive film clips capturing the essence of the period and of the man.

Stuart Robertson for The Power of Nightmares Eps. 1 of 3

UK   |   UK

  • Adam Curtis
  • -
  • Stuart Robertson
  • BBC Motion Gallery, APTN, CNN, Getty Images

In the past our politicians offered us dreams of a better world. Now they promise to protect us from nightmares. The most frightening of these is the threat of an international terror network. But just as the dreams weren't true - neither are these nightmares. This series shows dramatically how the threat of Islamist terrorism has been distorted and exaggerated by politicians. While there is a terrorist threat from radical Islamism, the idea that we are faced by a terrifying hidden organisation of unique power orchestrated by an evil mastermind Osama bin Laden is a fantasy. At the heart of the story are two groups: the American neoconservatives and the radical Islamists. Together they created today's nightmare vision of an organised terror network. A fantasy that politicians then found restored their power and authority in a disillusioned age.

Reasons for Submission:

The work that Stuart Robertson did on the Power of Nightmares was extraordinary and took archive research to a new and inspiring level. There are two reasons for this. Firstly I asked him to find footage that would illustrate abstract political ideas for which there was no actual, literal illustration. In response he produced an incredible wealth of images from all sorts of sources that allowed me to bring the complicated ideas of the neoconservatives and the Islamists alive in a way that I really didn't think was possible. Secondly, I asked him to look at the last three years of news footage of the War on Terror and find a way of portraying recent and very familiar events in a new and surprising way. To do this he went through hundreds of recordings of news feeds and rushes from cut stories and produced an extraordinary array of modern archive that gave the series the power to cut through the myths of fear that now surround us and allowed the audience to understand the present in a new way. That is an incredible achievement - and is the result of someone working with real imaginative power and confidence.

Valerie Hetherington for Denis Norden's 11th Laughter File

LWT/ITV   |   UK

  • Simon Withington
  • Bill Morton
  • Valerie Hetherington + Tamsin Schwab, Mani A. Shirazi, Victoria Minchin
  • Granada/ITV, Nippon TV, ABC Australia, Spectral Communications, NBC Studios

Denis Norden unveils his 11th Laughter File with a collection of brand new, never seen before spoofs, pranks and bloopers from the world of film and television. Tonight's show includes the stars of Coronation Street as you've never seen them before, a comedy classic from Eric Sykes and Geordie Duo Ant & Dec, who are left wondering 'What happens next?'

Reasons for Submission:

Valerie works tirelessly on Denis Norden's output scouring the world for hard to find funny outtakes. Currently there are several other companies and shows vying for the same material and yet the quality of the clips that Valerie sources are always above par. Valerie always appears to work effortlessly but always comes up with the goods. I believe she deals with agents in a way that encourages their artistes to agree to consent and she secures copyright always within her budget. Her wealth of experience covers all fields of film research but currently she opts to specialise in Entertainment and especially enjoys with the legendary Denis Norden. Denis Norden's 11th Laughter File features a wealth of never before seen outtakes from popular television shows as well as classic comedy clips and oddities. The type of researcher Valerie is comes across in the quality of the shows Denis Norden makes popular time and time again. This particular edition has been placed in a coveted Boxing Day slot in the Christmas line up.


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