British Council Film Collection

Here are links to some of the articles and media coverage around our British Council Film Collection as it has been posted online for everyone to enjoy.

John Humphries explores the British Council Film Collection on R4's Today Programme

Press interest in the British Council Film Collection, which first launched in 2012, has been huge with the initial wave greeted by appearances across almost all BBC local radio stations, items on BBC Radio 4's PM programme, ITV's Evening News and many others during the launch week in May 2012. A subsequent release of several previously unseen films on 1 June 2012, in order to mark the Diamond Jubilee, also captured much press attention. The final upload of a further 25 films to complete the Collection in May 2014 also made a huge splash across the press.

Here is a selection of the media stories generated by the Collection:

BBC London 94.9

“The powers that be decided that one of the weapons we had at our disposal was to show the rest of the world that we were still a power to be reckoned with, and so the British Council was born – and, to spread the message, one way of doing so was through the medium of film.” (from 10:55)

The Financial Times
Newly digitised propaganda shorts available for downloading. 

South Wales Evening Post 
Fascinating film of life in Wales in 1942, featuring scenes of Swansea, is revealed.

Daily Mail Online
Those were the days: From England’s pubs to Sheffield’s steel industry and preparations for war - film archive reveals how life was in 1930s and 40s Britain

Sky News
War Plans And Tea Mystery Complete Film Archive

BBC News
30s and 40s film online archive completed

BBC Radio 4: Today programme (from 2 hours 39 mins)
Briony Hanson: “At the British Council we don’t just do showcasing any more – we’re much more about collaboration and exchange, so these films give us a brilliant jumping-off point for doing exactly that. We’re encouraging people to get online, download the films and muck about with them.”

BBC1: Breakfast 
Briony Hanson: “They’re all online at the British Council’s website with a Creative Commons licence, and we hope that people around the world are going to look at these films and have a go at re-making them, and tell us what life is like now in comparison with what life was like then for us.”

ITV Lunchtime & Evening News
“A rare glimpse of life in Britain in the 1930s and 40s. Archive films have been released by the British Council showing the British at work, at play and, more sombrely, preparing for war.”

Sky News
“Recovered, restored and now finally re-released: 25 films from our past. These short features from the 1930s and 40s are the final chapter in the online archive of the British Council – the organisation set up 80 years ago to boost the UK’s cultural relations.”

Channel 5 News at 5 and 6.30
“This short film is one of 25 that have been digitised and released online today by the British Council. Each one offers a very rare glimpse into the 1930s and 40s showing Brits at work and at play.”

BBC Radio 2: Drivetime
(from 18 mins)
Briony Hanson: “For us here at the British Council, we’re trying to use the films as an opportunity to really bring the discussion about Britain up to date.”

BBC Radio 4 Today Programme
British Council Film Collection on feature on lighthouses

Channel 5
Clip from British Council Film Collection used in report
A clip from Child’s Play – one of the films from the British Council Film Collection – was used towards the end of a Channel 5 News report on growing up in Britain.

BBC Radio 4 – British Council Film Collection featured on ‘Thinking Aloud’ debate about sport and capitalism (after 24 minutes)

Huffington Post 16 July 2013
Graham Sheffield: Ashes to Ashes – cricket then and now

The Times, 7 May 2012
Libby Purves: 'Watch this British propaganda and be beguiled'
(see PDF download link in right column)

Huffington Post: Archive footage of young Queen released

ITV: Insight into royal life in newly released film

Daily Mirror: Sister act: Rare glimpse of teenage Queen squabbling with younger sister goes on show

Art Daily: British Council releases rare films of the Queen's childhood for Jubilee

Daily Mail: Loss and Gain, Past and Present, and who talked of a Golden Age

Screen Daily:  Fit For A Queen

The Daily Mail: When Britain really DID keep calm and carry on

Manchester Evening News: British Council appeal over 1940s Manchester film

BBC News: British Council heritage films put online

ITV News: British Council releases archive of films showcasing Britain to the world

Daily Telegraph: As the bombs fall over Fleet Street

BBC News Scotland: Scots heritage films go online

Londonist: British Council releases old footage of London

Publico (Portugal): British Council disponibiliza online 120 curtas documentais dos anos 1940

Huffington Post: This Sceptred Isle

Edinburgh Evening News: Royal Mile: Always centre of atten-shun!