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London’s Screen Archives celebrate film heritage at BAFTA

Date posted: 09.07.2014

Film London celebrated screen heritage at BAFTA for an evening of presentations, screenings and archive handling.

The evening was an opportunity to showcase the unique and rare material within the archives and also celebrate the regional network of archives, museums, libraries, and other organisations in London with moving image collections organisations.

The presentations began with an introduction by Chairman of Film London, David Parfitt and a presentation by Dr Cathy Ross, Chair of London’s Screen Archives and Honourary Research Fellow at Museum of London, who discussed future plans and the five year strategic framework for London’s Screen Archives. Special guest and London’s Screen Archives patron Ray Davies joined us to discuss his relationship with London and film. This special moment was followed by a unique presentation of archival footage by Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, which was accompanied on the piano by Cyrus Gabrusch.

Guests were then able to engage with archival footage, including watching the short film Big City Stories through a kinoscope, home footage through an 8mm boxed viewer, and film reels on a lightbox. They were also encouraged to browse through the archives on the London’s Screen Archives new website, which contains over 1,000 archive films dating back to 1912, largely unseen by the public until now.

The evening was also an opportunity to see the London’s Screen Archives curated feature film Seven Streets, Two Markets and a Wedding, which is packed full of films about London life largely unseen for generations. The film provides a unique insight into the continuities and changes in the capital across the twentieth century.

London: A Bigger Picture

The event coincided with the launch of London: A Bigger Picture, a groundbreaking three-year project that will give people in 15 of London's Outer Boroughs a chance to see and learn about historic film of their area and encourage them to share their own home movie records of the region's past.

London’s Screen Archives Patrons

At the event London’s Screen Archives new patrons of were announced: two stalwarts from the world of cinema, producer Lord David Puttnam and director Stephen Frears, as well as musician Ray Davies CBE.

When asked why they are supporting the LSA, Ray Davies said: “How else can we instil pride in our great cities than by creating a film archive that shows how we have reached this point in history. To appreciate who we are, we must have an understanding of where we are from, and today’s home movie could well become tomorrow’s historical archive.” Ray Davies CBE

Lord David Puttnam added he was “extremely proud to be a patron of London’s Screen Archives. These unique, rich and diverse collections of London’s history are brought to the public through illuminating and educational projects and activities. Investment in cutting edge archive technology will ensure they are enjoyed by generations to come.”

While Stephen Frears said “imagine there was no film of the Blitz, or the 1966 World Cup, or Mick Jagger. Or Mo Farah. If we don’t preserve film, television drama, documentaries, whatever, there will be no record of our past, of the times we have lived through. So of course I’m delighted to be a patron of London’s Screen Archives network. Our history belongs to all of us.”

About London’s Screen Archives

Established in June 2005, the London’s Screen Archives team work with over 100 collections across London. 1000 films have now been digitised and are available for public view on the new website.

Led by Film London, London's Screen Archives (LSA) is a virtual film archive for the city. It is a regional network of organisations that work together on the same mission: to bring screen heritage alive for London.

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