Tuesday, 4 October 2011

A new era for Britain’s film archives.

5 September will see the launch of Screen Heritage UK (SHUK). Thanks to over £22.8 million in funding from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), this major collaboration between the BFI and regional film archives across the UK represents a historic moment for film archives, encompassing digital innovation and pioneering new methods of film archiving.

SHUK will also ensure everyone in Britain will be able to find out about their film heritage for free via a new cataloguing and online access drive - Search Your Film Archives. The national and regional film archives have created this resource to give the public online access to information about film archives across the UK. Some films will be available to view online.

Through SHUK the BFI will ensure Britain’s film history is safe for future generations with the world’s most sophisticated new archive facility – the new Master Film Store. The new store at Gaydon, Warwickshire contains film prints and negatives from the extraordinary Edwardian works of Mitchell and Kenyon to Hitchcock’s masterpieces and, more recently, The King’s Speech.

Revitalising the Regions is a programme of projects, overseen by Screen Yorkshire, designed to support significant collections in the English Regions, leading to plans for their preservation and access. SHUK has also enabled the creation of a Memory Bank of films used by health professionals in treating patients with Alzheimer’s.

The project is launching with the BFI and BBC co-production The Reel History of Britain, presented by Melvyn Bragg, which brings the film archive to life in a 20 part series launching on BBC2 on 5 September, 18.30.

Heather Stewart, SHUK Programme Director and Creative Director BFI, said: “Through Screen Heritage UK the film archives of Britain have joined forces to truly take film archiving to the next level. Film is an integral part of British culture and SHUK will ensure that we not only safe-guard our film heritage for future generations but that everyone in the UK gets the opportunity to enjoy and benefit from it.”

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