Make Film History: Opening up the Archives to Young Filmmakers

Dr Shane O’Sullivan, Kingston School of Art, PI (United Kingdom)

Dr Ciara Chambers, University College Cork, PI (Ireland)

This project was funded by UKRI-AHRC and the Irish Research Council under the ‘UK-Ireland Collaboration in the Digital Humanities Networking Call’

(grant numbers AH/V002066/1 and IRC/V002066/1).

As cultural heritage organisations digitise their collections and increase public access, moving image portals like the IFI Player, RTÉ Archives, BFI Player and BBC iPlayer provide audiences with virtual screening rooms to view their shared audiovisual history on demand. But the creative reuse of moving image archive material remains problematic, beset by questions of copyright law, rights clearance and “fair dealing” exceptions, and an audiovisual archives sector without a standardised framework to open up access to this material for creative reuse by filmmakers in education and the community who cannot afford commercial license fees.

The Make Film History network will address this problem by developing a new, sustainable model for the creative reuse of archive material for non-commercial use. This pilot study will offer audiovisual archives within the network a low-risk framework for long-term collaboration with stakeholders working with young filmmakers in education, training and the community. The network will ask: “How can we license moving image archive material for creative reuse? How can the creative reuse of this material increase community engagement with hidden cultural heritage and strengthen communities through new work created by emerging filmmakers reflecting on the past and developing talent for the future?” The project will involve stakeholders in the provision of footage (BBC, BFI, IFI Irish Film Archive, Northern Ireland Screen) and develop educational resources related to creative reuse. It will also liaise with film festivals across the UK and Ireland to host a series of workshops with archivists, broadcasters and independent and commercial filmmakers to explore issues pertaining to copyright, ethics and the aesthetic and illustrative function of archival appropriation in a range of visual forms.

College of Arts, Celtic Studies & Social Sciences

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College Office, Room G31 ,Ground Floor, Block B, O'Rahilly Building, UCC