28 October 2014
In 2005, UNESCO declared October 27 as the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage in order to raise awareness of the importance of AV documents as an integral part of national identities and the world's memory and to draw attention to the urgent need to safeguard them.
Whilst numerous allied organisations around the globe marked yesterday's theme "Archives at Risk: much more to do" in a variety of ways, footage trade association FOCAL International announced the finalists of its Archive Based Programme Pitching Competition.
A record 39 pitches from ten countries, mostly representing Europe but also China and the USA were considered by the jury at Spring Films. Many pitches featured 'unique' characters to illustrate the historical times they lived through. The history of immigration, art, culture, conflicts and scientific achievement also cropped up - subjects all lending themselves to embellishment with an array of archive images. The topic of women during changing times in the 20th century was also popular but the three finalists were:
'Children of Saraejvo' pitched by Charles Jackson, 'From Vauxhall to Venus: The Untold Story of Britain’s NASA of the Imagination' by Sean Kavanagh and 'All The Way From Over There' pitched by Jody VandenBurg.
"We were delighted by the large number of entries we received from across the globe,” said Richard Melman, Executive Producer of Spring Films, “and the Spring Films development team were extremely impressed with the quality of the ideas which covered Factual, Historical, Dramatic and New Media genres, so we had a difficult time narrowing it down to the ones we have shortlisted."
The ultimate winner will be announced later in the year receiving free access to Getty Images footage and working with Prime Focus Post to produce a sampler film which Spring Films will take to programme commissioners.
Following the announcement of the three finalists at an event hosted by Cinelab London, guests were treated to a special screening of two wonderful 1957 short films, never released, starring Peter Sellers: 'Dearth of a Salesman' and 'Insomnia is good for you'. Cinelab, who offer a full suite of laboratory services from front-end 16mm and 35mm negative processing to 35mm feature film distribution printing, received the film elements (previously discovered in a skip!) in January 2014 and have created pristine Digital Masters. PHOTO: L-R John Mahtani and Adrian Bul, Cinelab
If you are interested in reading how other groups celebrated the 27th October anniversary, for example the CCAAA re-launched its Archives@Risk website, take a look at the AMIA website and the World Day website which contain news articles photos and videos associated with World Day activities plus links to UNESCO's Memory of the World (MOW) Programme Register.