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The FOCAL International Awards 2007

  • AWARD:

  • London's Screen Archives

  • Sponsored by: London's Screen Archives

  • Film London

  • Sponsored by: Film London


The Battle of the Somme (1916)

Imperial War Museum   |   UK

The Battle of the Somme documents the opening stages of one of the most important and bloodiest campaigns in British military history. It was filmed by two newsreel cameramen who were given unprecedented access to record the battle as it unfolded from positions right in the front-line. From 4,000ft of rushes, the War Office produced a 73 minute film which covered the artillery bombardment, the infantry offensive and its aftermath, including candid scenes of the wounded and dead. Released in cinemas in August 1916 it created such a sensation that was seen by over half the population of the UK.

Reason for Submission:

The old master copy of the Somme has all the scratches, breaks and duped sections which were in the original (no longer extant) negative. There is little detail in distant shots, and continuous exposure variations means features in different parts of the image appear and disappear from frame to frame. So severe are these problems that the restorers were obliged to work manually frame by frame for much of the film, teasing out the details from the background and stabilising the flicker. The result, coupled with a superb new orchestral score, has an impact not experienced since its original release.

The Master's Edition Norman Mclaren

National Film Board of Canada   |   Canada

The methods that McLaren used in making his films involved multiple manipulations of original elements in order to create simple colour separations. With repeated passes through the optical printer, the elements became damaged over successive generations, resulting in a 35 mm internegative that was far from pristine. McLaren was well aware of these shortcomings and most likely never achieved the image quality he was striving for. With today's computer-based technologies, we could certainly have produced near-perfect copies of most of his films, but for the sake of historical authenticity, we have resisted this temptation.

Reason for Submission:

It was thus the NFB's responsibility to ensure that Mclaren's work would be preserved and restored for the benefit of countless animation enthusiasts as well as for the general public here in Canada but throughout the world as well. All the preservation and restoration work allowed the NFB to ensure Mclaren's numerous films would continue to mesmerize audiences and simulate creators the world over. From a technical perspective, the many challenges encountered during this undertaking presented our image specialists with opportunities to hone their expertise and create a truly impressive and coherent rendition of Mclaren's work.

This Is New Zealand

Archives New Zealand   |   New Zealand

"This Is New Zealand" is a three screen travelogue showing the country, the people and the produce of New Zealand. The film features Spectacular panoramas covering three screens of the Southern Alps, aerial sequences over farmlands and cities. The three separate screens also contrast the life in the modern city with the life in the country and the diverse wild and plant life that live in New Zealand. It ends with a sequence of aerials over beautiful and epic scenery for which New Zealand is famous.

Reason for Submission:

“This is New Zealand” is one of the most famous non-fiction films ever to come out of New Zealand. It hasn't been seen for thirty years because of the difficulty of its three synchronous projector system. This new version has been created using the DI process at Peter Jackson's Park Road Post facility in Miramar, Wellington. Using the Di Process it has been possible to combine all three screens and remaster the sound track to create new composite film negative and print as well as high definition video masters. This means that this film can be seen anywhere by a whole new audience.

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