We’re very happy to announce that British Pathé has been awarded the coveted “Footage Library of the Year” prize at the 2017 FOCAL International Awards. The ceremony was held on 25th May at the Royal Lancaster London Hotel and hosted by Hardeep Singh Kohli.
Alastair White, General Manager of British Pathé, was there to accept the award. He said, “We’re absolutely delighted to be honoured in this way by our industry colleagues. We have a dedicated and hardworking team, and it’s wonderful to see their efforts rewarded.”
Among the multitude of excellent documentaries and dramas British Pathé contributed to, both in the UK and around the world, there was Netflix’s gripping series The Crown and Ron Howard’s theatrical release The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years.
FOCAL highlighted British Pathé recent initiatives, the most significant of which was BRITISH PATHÉ TV (www.britishpathe.tv), a new online on-demand channel offering an extensive range of archive-based full-length documentaries, interviews, and classic movies. Created as an alternative to the current mainstream broadcast channels, it aims to appeal to specialist audiences such as history buffs, royal watchers, cinema aficionados, and train enthusiasts.
The channel showcases British Pathé’s own archive-based documentary, Revolution in Colour, charting the entire course of Irish independence from Home Rule to Civil War. This feature-length film, made in association with Zampano Productions and narrated by Downton Abbey’s Allen Leech also aired in two parts on TV3. It features material from the 1910s colourised to an unparalleled standard.
British Pathé also embarked on a major collaboration with the Irish Film Institute in order to restore and preserve key elements of Ireland’s filmed heritage in high definition.
FOCAL specifically referred to British Pathé’s increasing online presence as a key factor in the win. The archive reached out to the wider public, promoting awareness of archive footage via the free-to-use British Pathé website (www.britishpathe.com) and various social media platforms (which have generated a following of 850,000 people). This includes the British Pathé YouTube channels, which received 52,000,000 views during 2016.
Alastair White went on to say, “We couldn’t have won without the skill and imagination of the producers and researchers who made such outstanding use of archive footage in their programmes during the last year.”