Saving more of our North East film heritage for everyone to see, share, and enjoy.

North East Film Archive are delighted to announce support from the National Lottery for a major new project: ‘North East on Film’  which is all about re-connecting people and communities to their local and regional film heritage collections.  We’ll be preserving and digitising film collections that show the people, places, crafts, traditions, major events and everyday lives in communities right across the north east that are instantly recognisable – and who knows, maybe even be film of your family 30 or 40 years ago, or the place where you live, the school you went to, where you, your parents, grandparents or even great-grandparents worked – all captured on film to be revealed once again.

We’re not talking here about feature films or the cinema blockbusters, instead we’re turning the spotlight onto non-fiction material, or what is sometimes referred to as ‘Film as Record’ - local films shot by local people, cine club enthusiasts, local businesses advertising their wares, regional television news features or programmes where the focus is on people, places, events, traditions and everyday life here in the North East.
 
At first sight these collections might not seem to hold the same significance as the silver screen classics, but just step back for a moment and imagine how interested you might be if there was film of your family  30 or 40 years ago, or of the place where you live, the school you went to, where you, or your parents, grandparents or even great-grandparents worked, where you went on holiday, or the venues visited on those first Saturday nights out – and what on earth you were wearing to keep up with the fashions of the day!
 
All of this and more has, over the decades, been captured on film, and the North East Film Archive now holds tens of thousands of feet of film and video tape, revealing life across the North East of England over every decade of the last century.   
 
The first job for the Archive is to ensure we find and preserve our regional film heritage, but equally important is the Archive’s commitment to making its collections accessible for everyone to see and enjoy. Now, with an award of £323,700 from the Heritage Lottery Fund thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, there is an opportunity to do both – to preserve and digitise more films from the collections, and to deliver a whole series of screenings and events in communities across the region over the next 18 months through our new ‘North East on Film’ project.  Added to that, once the project is up and running, ‘North East on Film’ will be putting a call out for everyone –  companies, libraries and museums, local cine and video clubs, amateur and home movie enthusiasts – to search out those forgotten film collections which could potentially reveal more hidden gems of life over the decades in the North East.
 
Heritage Minister, John Glen says: "’North East on Film’ will open up a treasure trove of social history, charting the lives of people and communities across the region over the last 100 years. Thanks to National Lottery players this unique archive is being protected and screened to more people so that the stories from the North East's past are not forgotten." 
 
Sue Howard, Director of the Archive says:  “‘North East on Film’ is all about re-connecting people and communities to their local and regional film heritage collections.  People will instantly recognise places – and sometimes even spot familiar faces which happened to have been caught on film years ago, to be revealed once again in film shows and events that we’ll be touring around the region.  For the Archive, our first job is about ensuring these astonishing visual records of our communities are preserved and digitised, but where the work really comes alive is when we take the films back to the communities in which they were made – it is the people there who then become the real experts, they have all the local knowledge, the memories and the stories to share, so it is a real two way process. We are hugely grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for their support – and of course to every National Lottery player, as they really are the people that make it all possible”
 
Ivor Crowther, Head of HLF North East, said: “The North East Film Archive is a fascinating and often moving insight into life in the region. Not just the great events, but the everyday lives of the people who make it so great. Stories from coast, country, town and city, from our shops, schools and streets, the huge industries that shaped our working lives and the village fetes and carnivals we enjoyed. Thanks to National Lottery players our moving image heritage now has a secure future and generations of people will have unprecedented access to the hidden stories it holds, which is why we are delighted to support this project.” 
 
‘North East on Film’ will begin work in earnest in the autumn of 2017, with film screenings and events starting in early 2018, and if you think there are opportunities for North East on Film to visit your community do get in touch for further information: www.northeastfilmarchive.com 
 
Why not take quick peep at this little taster film showing for a quick glimpse of people and places around the region.