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Reel History London Festival

Date: 04 October - 19 December

The capital's rich heritage is being celebrated with free film screenings and events at the 'Reel History London' Festival this autumn.  Among the gems unearthed are the home movies of actress Phyllis Calvert (Fanny By Gaslight) which depict Oscar winning actor Jack Lemmon lounging around a swimming pool in the capital! Other films on show date from the early 1900s and include snapshots of London life such as behind-the-scenes views of the Metropolitan police, lost views of the city from Erith to Enfield and Bloomsbury to Bromley.

'Local London' Free Screenings
Tuesdays 4, 11, 18 and 25 October, 2.30pm

Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD

Explore distinct local areas of London which have featured in popular films - Haringey, Notting Hill, Covent Garden and the East End. Each screening includes extracts from archive films relating to these areas, and will be introduced by an expert in London's on-screen history.

4 Oct London River (Rachid Bouchareb, 2009) + archive film of Stroud Green and Hornsey
11 Oct
Pressure (Horace Ove, 1976) + an 'open hour' at the London Screen Study Collection (4.45-5.45)
18 Oct
Frenzy (Hitchcock, 1972) + an 'open hour' at the London Screen Study Collection (4.30-5.30)
25 Oct
Real Money (Ron Peck, 1996) + introduction by the director (tbc), followed by an informal 'introduction to the East End on film' in the London Screen Studies Collection.

Contact: or

Warlingham Park Documentary Premiere
Monday 10 October 2011 12.30pm-1.15pm - free!

Boardroom, Bethlem Royal Hospital, Monks Orchard Road, Beckenham, Kent, BR3 3BX

Premiere of a new documentary featuring rare archive footage that tells the story of staff, patients and relatives of patients at Warlingham Park Hospital from 1945 to 1960. Please book in advance.

Contact: / 020 3228 4227

Brent's Reel History
Tuesday 11 October, 11am-1pm - free!

The Cinema, Willesden Green Library, Centre, 95 High Road, London NW10 2SF

To complement the BBC's 'Reel History of Britain' season, join Brent Archives for a screening of 'These Can Be Yours', a surprising local film from the archives' own collections, alongside footage from the British Film Institute. This is followed by a discussion and advice on caring for your personal film archives. Refreshments are provided.

Contact: / 020 8937 3677

Home Movie Day
Saturday 15 October 11am-5pm - free!
The Cinema Museum, 2 Dugard Way, Kennington, London SE11 4TH

See your archive films on the Big Screen and relive those personal memories! Bring along your home movies for examination by trained film archivists then watch your films projected on the big screen. At 1130am you can enjoy actress Phyllis Calvert's home movies (The Man in Grey, Fanny by Gaslight) presented by her grandson Thomas Dyton, and featuring Jack Lemmon lounging by the swimming pool! You don't need to bring home movies to enjoy the day; come and see the Cinema Museum, which is not normally open to the public, and have the chance to win fabulous prizes!

Contact:  / 07515 888465 /

Festive Fifties Family Day
Sunday 16 October 12noon-4.30pm - free!

The Geffrye Museum, 136 Kingsland Road, London, E2 8EA

Enjoy films from the Fifties, explore period objects, make terrific TV masks and listen to stories from the olden days. Places are allocated on a first-come first-served basis on the day and children under 11 must be accompanied by an adult.

Contact: / 07515 888465 /

The London Met: Our Past Through Film
Saturday 22 October 10am-4pm - free!

Metropolitan Police Historical Collection, Empress State Building, Lillie Road, London, SW6 1TR

Discover the fascinating films and photographs that tell the story of how London was policed from the 1900s. "Policing in the 70's" shows actual life in the Force and how South London was policed. All the actors are played by police officers and it is a real life 'Ashes to Ashes'. This event has limited capacity so please register in advance.

Contact: / 020 7161 1234

Big City Stories: a collection of film extracts from Black London Film Archives

(Part of Haringey's Black History Month)
Monday 24 October 12.15pm-1.30pm - free!

Bruce Castle Museum, Haringey Culture Libraries & Learning, Lordship Lane, Tottenham, N17 8NU

View a fascinating collection of film extracts depicting black Londoners in the twentieth century, thanks to the work of Black London Film Heritage. This is a 'Munch 'n Listen' event, so bring your lunch along! This is part of Haringey's Black History Month programme.

Contact: / 020 8808 8772

Captured Moments: Enfield's History in Film 1950-1970
Wednesday 26 October 9.30am-4.30pm - free!

Enfield Local Studies Library & Archive, Thomas Hardy House, 39 London Road, Enfield, EN2 6DA

Step into a bygone era and watch original, locally produced films from Enfield, Edmonton and Southgate. These depict landmark events that provide a unique insight into the history of the borough including Enfield's Charter day, and 1972 Festival, the 1958 Charter celebrations in Jubilee Park and the Edmonton Horse Show 1959.

Contact: / 020 8379 2724

Bexley's Reel History
Thursday 27 October 2pm-3pm - free!

Bexley Local Studies & Archive Centre, Townley Road, Bexleyheath, KENT DA6 7HJ

Never seen before films of Bexley and the district during the 1960s including Erith before its redevelopment; Bexleyheath before the shopping Mall; and Crayford and the construction of Thamesmead New Town in 1968.

Contact: / 020 3045 3370

BFI Reel Histories Family Day
- A Family Learning Festival Activity
Friday 28th October 2011 11 00-4 00pm - Free
but advance booking essential and there is a £1.50 booking fee per person
BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XT

With lots of exciting and engaging activities to try out, coming to BFI Southbank to experience the BFI Family Reel History Day is a must! You can dress up and make a silent movie after watching a show reel of Reel History gems or make an animation film about your family's history. Or, inspired by the Reel History film 'Holiday', why not bring in a usb flash drive of a maximum of 10 pictures from your summer holiday and turn it into an archive treasure using archive film footage - lots of fun!

Animation sessions from 11.00am-1.00pm, 2.00pm-4.00pm (£1.50 advance booking essential - contact box office on 020 7928 3232 open from 11.00am-8.00pm)

Contact: / BFI Family Learning Co-ordinator

Bromley's Reel History 1930s-1980s
Saturday 5 November 2pm-4pm - free!

Bromley Central Library, High Street, Bromley, Kent, BR1 1EX

Re-discover Bromley with a series of exciting recently revived films featuring Bromley and the surrounding area from 1930s-1980s - plus the chance to learn from an archive expert what real film looks like and how to look after it!

Contact: / 020 8461 7170

London Metropolitan Archives: Remembering London Lives
Saturday 5 November 2pm-4pm - free!

London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell, London, EC1R 0HB

Come along to a special free film and reminiscence event discussing and celebrating post-war housing developments in London. You can watch a screening of 'Somewhere Decent to Live' - a documentary about the need for better housing during the 60s which featured in the BBC Two series "Reel History of Britain". There will also be documents and photographs on display. Members of the public are encouraged to drop in at any time.

London Metropolitan Archives also hosts regular free screenings of archive films and the programme is listed below.

Reel London: Southern Comforts - South London in archive film
Friday 21 October, 1-4pm

Explore the hidden houses and hills south of the river. From Battersea and Bermondsey, from Putney to Southwark, via the parks of South London and the sporting activities of Crystal Palace.

Reel London: East of Elephant - East London in archive film

Monday 14 November, 1-4pm

See the sights and sounds of both sides of the embankments as the river winds its way. From Woolwich to Silvertown and out to Bexley and Greenwich, through Thamesmead to the sea.

Reel London: Way out West - West London in archive film
Monday 19 December, 1-4pm

From girls and boys at school and play, to workers, shoppers and commuters, the delights of the city to the west can be seen on screen.

Contact: / 020 7332 3851

Reel History at The Royal Institution of Great Britain
10am - 5pm weekdays throughout October - free!

21 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4BS

The Royal Institution will be screening their favourite Christmas Lectures from the 1960s and 70s, originally broadcast on the BBC. Everyone is invited to drop in to watch Britain's most famous scientists in the unique space of the Michael Faraday Museum.

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