About the film archive
Learn about the history behind our documentary film archive from the 1940s.
A British newsreel compilation from various news sources.
This film is not available to download
'This newsreel, entitled British News, is made up each week and is specially edited from material published in the ten weekly issues of the five British newsreel companies.
It contains news of Great Britain, the Dominions, India and the Colonial Empire, particularly in relation to the war and the part played in it by all Empire countries, and is the only newsreel in the world dealing entirely with British news items. Each of the five newsreel companies, working in rotation, undertakes production of British News, which is considerably longer than any other newsreel, and in its compilation all available material is viewed. With the technical advice of the company handling the film each week an official editorial committee decides which items of news from the ten commercial reels should be included in the composite reel.
The visual news service was originally started for showing in the cinema of the British Pavilion at the New York World's Fair, where it achieved great popular success in both 1939 and 1940. It is now being despatched weekly by the most rapid available means to all British Colonies.'
(Films of Britain - British Council Film Department Catalogue - 1941)
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