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Greg Dyke Presents the Footage Blue Ribbon Awards at FOCAL International's Gala Event

16 May 2006

Top honours in the third annual FOCAL International Awards have gone to the BBC’s A Very British Olympics in two categories – Best use of Footage in History, and in Sport. In his acceptance, Producer/Director Dominic Sutherland praised the work of Angela Spindler Brown who had researched all the footage.

A double award also went indirectly to Israel and the Arabs: Elusive Peace, produced by Brook Lapping. It won the Best use of Footage in the Current Affairs category and also earnt its two footage researchers, Declan Smith and Nava Mizrahi, the cherished accolade of “Footage Researcher of the Year”.

For the second year running North One TV walked away with the Clip-based Entertainment show prize for TV Makeovers that Changed the World and, again, it was the footage researcher Susan Huxley, who was singled out for praise in the winning team.

The awards, sponsored by AP Archive, recognise the use of archive footage in the media. They were announced at a ceremony at the Savoy Hotel this week, and presented by Greg Dyke, Chairman Hit Entertainment and Brentford Football Club and former Director-General, BBC at a gala dinner. In his pre-awards speech, and contrary to recent press debate, he praised the skills that today’s media students are bringing to the work place having grown up in the digital age, they are already multi talented. He went on, “High speed broadband is going to change our world…in a very short time the ability to make television programmes will have moved from the few to the many…
Channels will have to find new sources of revenue and the demand for library material will grow at an incredible rate.
There is a revolution happening and there are massive opportunities out there for those who guess it right.”

Also present was Lord (David) Puttnam CBE, Chair of Patrons, FOCAL International. He referred to a recent trip to Cuba for UNESCO where he observed the efforts of the national archives to preserve their recent history as recorded in moving images, and feared that post Castro, their history, like that of many other parts of the world is “likely to be wiped out in the next 20, 30 years unless organizations like FOCAL play a powerful part in ensuring that the very best of what’s needed is saved.”

Lord Puttnam extended a very warm welcome to guests such as Amanda Nevill, Director of the BFI, John Woodward, Chief Executive Officer of the UK Film Council plus Peter Snow, Stephen Frears, Elizabeth Murdoch. He also made a point to welcome Jack Cardiff, double Oscar award winner in his 90s, who was there representing the nomination of Black Narcissus in the Restoration category, and Shivaun O’Casey, daughter of the famous Irish playwright, representing the nomination Sean O’Casey -Under a Coloured Cap.

In total 350 guests from the international world of footage attended the event – archive executives, top documentary producers, researchers and facility house managers from the USA, Canada, France, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, Israel and of course the UK - representing some of 19 countries that entered the competition in the first place. They enjoyed a gala evening with the opening reception sponsored by ITN Archive, the post awards party sponsored by INA and a sumptuous meal in the luxurious Lancaster Room of the Savoy Hotel.

FOCAL Chair Sue Malden praised the work of the 50 judges from around the world, who under the leadership of veteran history producer, Jerry Kuehl, had had the task of short listing the 200 entries to come up with the final Nominations and winners. A brief clip of each was shown to illustrate the way footage was used in an innovative way to bring programmes to life.

The UK by no means dominated the winning slots. BBC Arena’s Anthony Wall accepted an award on behalf of renowned director Martin Scorsese for American Masters No Direction Home – Bob Dylan and read a statement from Scorsese praising the work of organizations like FOCAL in focusing attention on the footage industry and the need to preserve and make available this valuable visual heritage.

In the Wildlife category, German film makers Marco Polo scooped the winning prize with The Pet and the Beast – 100 Years of natural History Perception. Producer Annette Scheurich praised the work of footage researcher Peter Fera who had also been nominated in the Researcher of the Year category.

The announcement that the Virgin Trains “Falling in Love with the train” advertisement had won that category raised a cheer – its innovative use of clips from five well known feature films in one short ad certainly was “innovative” to say the least.

Further awards were distributed for the use of stock footage in a pop video to Soulwax: NY Excuse, and there were joint winners in the corporate category for A History of European Economic and Monetary Union produced in Germany and for the Sanyo in store demo which used spectacular National Geographic footage to great effect. CBC’s Digital Archive Website won the New Media category with its 10,000 TV and radio clips available online.

Another popular decision with the audience was awarding the Mitchell and Kenyon Collection (1900-1913) with the award for Archive Restoration or Preservation Project. As Director of the BFI, Amanda Nevill received the prize on behalf of the team who had preserved the 28 hours of totally unique footage.

Footage Researcher Kenn Rabin apologized for not being a George Clooney look-alike in receiving the award on his behalf for the use of footage in Good Night and Good Luck. Conveying a message from the Director himself, he praised the valuable work of the archives in preserving the evidence which made it possible to tell the story of how Ed Murrow was able to expose McCarthy and the way he was restricting civil liberties.

The blue-ribbon award of Footage Library of the Year went to British Movietonews. In his acceptance, MD Barry Florin was keen to promote the fact that his library covering 50 years of British history had survived as an independent archive collection by embracing cutting edge technology, but at the same time retaining the personal services of a small, dedicated and knowledgeable staff.

Christine Whittaker was presented with a Lifetime Achievement award by the FOCAL Executive in recognition of her career as a skilled and successful film researcher, and as an ambassador for the footage industry, for example, through her work with IAMHIST, the IWM and various documentary jury panels. Mike Mercer, husband of the late Jane Mercer who won the same award last year said,
“What I find particularly striking is the number of people who talk of Christine as, in effect, the ‘mother’ of film research as a respected profession in its own right.”

Christine Whittaker’s list of credits include: Nippon, All Our Working Lives, Out of the Doll’s House, Pandora’s Box and the award winning The People’s Century.

In her acceptance speech, Christine Whittaker declared:
“I do feel a bit of a fraud because actually I have spent the last 30 years doing something that I absolutely love. I can’t think of any other job where everything you work on teaches you something new. The archive world tells you so much, not only about history and world events but also about the human condition.”
For full detail of the winners and photographs of the event please go to and

The full list of winners are as follows:

Award for Best Use of Footage in a Current Affairs Production
Sponsored by CNN ImageSource
Israel & the Arabs: Elusive Peace (Brook Lapping)

Award for Best Use of Footage in a History Factual Production
Sponsored by Ascent Media
A Very British Olympics (BBC)

Award for Best Use of Footage in an Entertainment, Arts or Drama Production
Sponsored by BDFL
American Masters/Arena - No Direction Home: Bob Dylan
(American Masters, Thirteen/WNET New York, Arena, Spitfire Holdings)

Award for Best Use of Footage in a Clip Based Entertainment Production
Sponsored by Huntley Film Archives
TV Makeovers That Changed the World (North One Television)

Award for Best Use of Footage Science or Natural History Production
Sponsored by ITN Archive
The Pet and the Beast - 100 Years of Natural History Perception (Marco Polo Film AG)

Award for Best Use of Footage in a Sport Production
Sponsored by ITV Sport
A Very British Olympics (BBC)

Award for Best Use of Footage in an Advertisement
Sponsored by Bird & Bird
Virgin Trains "Falling in love with the train" (Great Guns for RKCR/Y&R)

Award for Best Use of Footage in a Pop Music Video
Sponsored by Getty Images
Soulwax: NY Excuse (Gorgeous Enterprises)

Award for Best Use of Footage in a Corporate Production
Sponsored by BBC Motion Gallery
A History of European Economic and Monetary Union (Westend Film & TV Produktion GmbH + Quadrant)
Sanyo LCD Television In-Store Demonstration (Jay Film & Video)

Award for Best Use of Footage in a Feature Film
Sponsored by OSF Oxford Scientific
Good Night and Good Luck (Warner Bros)
Award for Best Use of Footage in New Media
Sponsored by World Congress of History Producers
CBC Digital Archives - Website

Award for Archive Restoration or Preservation Project
Sponsored by Iron Mountain
Mitchell and Kenyon Collection (1900-1913) (Restoration by BFI)

Award for Footage Researcher of the Year
Sponsored by AP Archive
Declan Smith & Nava Mizrahi for Israel & the Arabs: Elusive Peace (Brook Lapping)

Award for Footage Library of the Year
Sponsored by TMR
British Movietonews

Award for Lifetime Achievement
Christine Whittaker

For further information, PHOTOS and full list of Award nominations:


tel: +44 (0)20 8423 5853

About FOCAL International:

The Federation of Commercial Audiovisual Libraries International Ltd, is a not-for-profit professional trade association providing excellent networking and marketing opportunities for content industry professionals and giving users easy access to over 300 members worldwide:

FOOTAGE LIBRARIES selling clips, archive, footage, stock shots, stills, audio FOOTAGE RESEARCHERS with the professional skills to find and deliver the material, on time, within budget, rights cleared FOOTAGE CONSULTANTS to advise on content management solutions and use of valuable library assets FACILITIES with the technical equipment and expertise to store, restore or deliver the material on any format MEDIA LAWYERS specialising in media and copyright issues. Use FOOTAGE FINDER a FREE service emailing your request for content to all libraries in one hit, or, search the extensive Members' DIRECTORY for content subjects, contacts, skills and services. Need an ARCHIVE FOOTAGE RESEARCHER fast? Call FOCAL on +44 (0)20 8423 5853


Julie Lewis +44 (0)777 182 4325