Search & Rescue

We need your help to find the region’s hidden film heritage!

The North East Film Archive is looking for historic films made in and about the North East of England to preserve and protect for the future.

From the earliest days of film, people have been recording their daily lives, celebrations, communities and traditions.

Much of our film heritage remains lost or inaccessible.  Captured on original film stock which is fragile and deteriorating, it needs to be preserved before it is gone forever.

The hidden films of the North East, likely tucked away in cupboards and attics, museum storerooms, company archives and garden sheds, are deteriorating as time passes, but thanks to support from the Heritage Lottery Fund we’re searching the region to find these films, care for them, and ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy the region's film heritage.

We need YOUR help!

Do you have any films for the archive?

  • Did your family have a home movie camera - and do you still have the films?
  • Are you aware of any workplace film collections that are now gathering dust?
  • Are you an amateur filmmaker who wants their work preserved for the future?

We have already received some fantastic films covering a range of subjects, including family celebrations, advertising films from the former Vaux Breweries, trips to the seaside and shipbuilding on the Tyne and the Wear. These films all go towards building up a picture of our North East history and are an insight into the lives of our ancestors. 

Getting in touch is easy

If you have any films in your possession which you would like us to take a look at it please contact us by phone on 01642 384022 or by email at

We’ll arrange a face-to-face chat with you, where one of our trained volunteers will meet with you to check your film materials.  We’ll then safely bring it back to the archive for a full and careful appraisal.  

If acquired by the archive your film will then be preserved as part of the cinematic history of our region, safe for the future!

Contact us now if you have a film you might like us to look at.


How old does a film need to be to be considered for the archive’s collection?
Up to yesterday!  We acquire films from the early 1900s right up to the 2010s.

What format do films need to be on to be acquired?
Ideally, we would like any films donated to the archive to be in the original formats they were shot on, such as cine film or video.  However, if the original version no longer exists and the footage has been transferred to another format (eg film to DVD or tape) we can take a look at that too.  As well as film of all sizes and formats, we have lots of video tapes in many formats in the archive's collection.

Will I be able to see my films once I have given them to the archive?
If a film is acquired by the archive, then we may be able to provide a DVD or digital file of some footage.  We cannot guarantee that your film will be accepted by the archive, nor can we guarantee that we can give you footage.  There are several organisations who convert film footage to DVD and we can forward your enquiry onto them, but these companies tend to charge a fee. 

Films accepted by the archive may feature in future public screening events and once digitised may be added to the North East Film Archive online database where they will be available to watch.

What happens if my films are not accepted by the archive?
If we do not acquire your material then we will safely hand it back to you.

Will I be paid for my film footage?
The North East Film Archive is a charity and does not pay for the films submitted to the collection.

For more information about submitting a film to the archive please click here to find out more.