Moving North: Coastal North East

We're delighted to launch our second programme of Moving North: Coastal film screenings - and this time we'll be travelling up the North East coast to a variety of venues, starting at the Whitley Bay Festival Playhouse for Whitley Bay Film Festival 2017 on Monday 28th August.

With films made by cine enthusiasts and local filmmakers recording the lives and landscapes of our coastal communities, and television footage of more recent years, these images reveal an astonishing record of the people and the places we know so well: distant in time and tempo.

1920s filmmakers capture the quiet beauty of Lindisfarne, the Holy Island, as it welcomes barefoot pilgrims and tourists alike to the magical, spiritual home of Celtic saints. Bright young things from the big city in baggy knitted swimsuits are fond of a trip to the sand dunes and salty air of Warkworth in the 1930s, and they take their cine cameras with them.  Heading south down the coast, an 80-year-old Cullercoats fish lass reminisces in the local dialect about her extraordinary life. The exciting fairground attractions of Whitley Bay’s white-domed Spanish City fairground entice thrill-seeking Race Week crowds year after year, and popular comedy double act Laurel and Hardy bring their own special brand of bumbling humour to hundreds of children at a grand charity event at the Plaza Hotel, Tynemouth.

Each salty ‘50s Kodachrome memory leapfrogs into the next in home movies celebrating the toe dipping delights of sea and sand on bucket-and-spade holidays on Tyneside and down to popular Redcar, which lured thousands of day-trippers from Teesside’s industrial hinterlands in its heyday.

Working lives on film reflect industries past and present – from the small coastal communities where fishing has been the mainstay for generations of families, to gripping Tyne Tees Television documentaries on the North Shields fleets chasing North Sea cod shoals at night. Lulled by a soundtrack of waves, a lyrical ‘80s documentary captures the poignancy of piers and changing industrial fortunes at Saltburn-by-the-Sea. To round off this coastal journey with a deserving drink, join eccentric broadcaster and botanist David Bellamy for a sample of the marvellous beers at Hartlepool brewery Camerons.

So why not come along and take this revealing tour along a coast of contrasts, steeped in history, industry and the sweeping beauty of wild Northumbrian beaches.  Each of the events will be different, with the programmes curated to match the location of the screenings, so expect to see plenty of local footage in all of the screenings. 

Screenings include:

Moving North Coastal: Whitley Bay, Playhouse Whitley Bay, on Monday 28th August 2017. Doors open 5.00pm. Starts 6.00pm

Hector Gannet, on Sunday 24th September 2017, The Old Low Light, North Shields Fish Quay Performance starts 3.00pm

Moving North Coastal: Saltburn, Saltburn Arts, Sunday 1st October 2017

Moving North Coastal: Hartlepool, Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre, 19th October 2017

More venues to be confirmed in the coming weeks. 

For a glimpse of what is in store, the North East Film Archive has created the short taster film above, so sit back and enjoy three minutes of our great North East coastline!

‘Moving North: Coastal’  is also part of a much bigger, UK wide programme, Britain on Film – Our Lives, Our Stories’  led by the BFI, working in partnership with National and Regional Film Archives to uncover and create access to the extraordinary treasures of our UK film and TV archives for the British public to see and enjoy.   Last year Britain on Film took a closer look at rural life across the UK, and now the focus is turned towards Britain on Film: Coast and Sea, charting our changing relationship with the land and the sea and the intrinsic connection with our national self-image.  Using the Britain on Film interactive map (, with the click of a mouse viewers can plot their own course, circumnavigating over 11,000 miles of varied coastline through over 600 newly digitised films, from the southernmost tip of the Scilly Isles to the northernmost reaches of the Shetland Islands, to search and explore locations which hold a deeply personal connection, or collective concerns which occupy us a whole; leisure, industry, environmentalism, the weather.