FOCAL International press release

FOCAL International’s Gala Awards Ceremony was filled with both gravity and surprise, with three awards going to films concerning the liberation of the Nazi death camps.

Opening the sparkling ceremony in front of nearly 400 guests, Sue Malden, Chair of FOCAL International, applauded the hard work and dedication of an international jury that numbered more than 70 volunteers from all sectors of the production industry. Thanks were also given to the sponsors as well as FOCAL International’s organising team – including Julie Lewis, Anne Johnson, Amanda Dantas and Susan Huxley – who oversaw a record-setting 265 submissions from 24 countries entered in this year’s awards.

Host Kate Adie, the former Chief News Reporter for the BBC and current presenter of From Our Own Correspondenton BBC Radio 4, emphasized the critical importance of capturing events on film and preserving them as factual historical documents to stand as evidence against regimes or individuals who may seek to deny their veracity.

Night Will Fall (Spring Films, Angel TV, Cinephil), about the filming of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps, scooped two wins from the three final nominations it received – in the categories Best Use of Footage in a History Production and in a Cinema Production. The Imperial War Museums work in restoring, preserving and completing the work that Sidney Bernstein started on the German Concentration Camps Factual Survey, which formed the bulk of the archive clips in Night Will Fall, did not go unmarked, as David Walsh, Dr Toby Haggith and George Smith stepped up to receive a surprise Special Award for this work.

The team at BBC Entertainment, which has consistently won prizes for finding and using quirky footage and had two strong contenders in the race this year, were eclipsed by Rain Media Entertainment’s Perspectives: Bruce Forsyth on Sammy Davis Jr., which took the award for Best Use of Footage in an Entertainment Production.

FOCAL was honoured to have both the widow and son of motorbike racing legend Mike Hailwood present at the Awards Ceremony as An Ordinary Hero (BT Sports), a film telling the story of Hailwood’s life, won the prize for Best use of Sports Footage.

North America was well represented with five titles winning for Best use of Footage in their respective categories, including American Experience: Last Days in Vietnam (Moxie Firecracker Films / WGBH Educational Foundation); Regarding Susan Sontag (Question Why Films); Mr. Dynamite – The Rise of James Brown (Jigsaw Productions / Jagged Films / Inaudible Films), The Pristine Coast (Juggernaut Pictures) and Retro Report: Go or No Go – The Challenger Legacy (Mirror Productions / Retro Report).

Top Restoration / Preservation prizes went to Camera Obscura: The Walerian Borowczyk Collection (Arrow Films / Deluxe Restoration) and the horror classic Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari (Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Stiftung). Camera Obscura was praised for the exemplary restoration, as well as the completed 5 disc Blu-ray and DVD box set and book.

Soul Boys of the Western World, which tells the story of iconic 80’s band Spandau Ballet, was justly shortlisted in two categories but didn’t quite manage to pull a win. However, it did earn Kate Griffiths the accolade of Jane Mercer Footage Researcher of the Year – a just reward for collating 450 hours of footage from over 70 sources, then clearing and licensing the chosen clips for the 100 minute feature film plus 2 discs of ‘extras’ in the box set.

The evening ended with Sir Jeremy Isaacs giving fond and worthy praise to this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Raye Farr, recalling their days working together on the World at War series through to her becoming Director of the Steven Spielberg Film And Video Archive.

The full list of winners in each category are shown below:

Best Use of Footage in a History Production
Sponsored by Getty Images
*Night Will Fall – Spring Films, Angel TV, Cinephil (UK)

Best Use of Footage in a Current Affairs Production
Sponsored by Sky News HD
* Paisley: A Life – BBC Northern Ireland (UK)

Best Use of Footage in a Factual Production
Sponsored by ITN Source
* American Experience: Last Days in Vietnam – Moxie Firecracker Films / WGBH Educational Foundation (USA)

Best Use of Footage in an Entertainment Production 
Sponsored by FremantleMedia Archive
* Perspectives: Bruce Forsyth on Sammy Davis Jr – Rain Media Entertainment (UK)

Best Use of Footage in an Arts Production
Sponsored by Bridgeman Footage
* Regarding Susan Sontag – Question Why Films (USA)

Best Use of Footage in a Music Production
Sponsored by Clips & Footage
* Mr. Dynamite – The Rise of James Brown – Jigsaw Productions / Jagged Films / Inaudible Films (USA)

Best Use of Sports Footage
Sponsored by ITV Sport Archive
* An Ordinary Hero – BT Sport (UK)

Best Use of Footage in an Advert or Short Production
Sponsored by Broadcast
* Guinness: Irrepressible Spirit – Rogue (UK)

Best Use of Wildlife and Natural History Footage
Sponsored by Shutterstock
* The Pristine Coast – Juggernaut Pictures (Canada)

Best Use of Footage on Non-Television Platforms
Sponsored by Cambridge Imaging
* Retro Report: Go or No Go – The Challenger Legacy – Mirror Productions / Retro Report (USA)

Best Use of Footage in a Cinema Release
Sponsored by British Pathe
* Night Will Fall – Spring Films, Angel TV, Cinephil (UK)

Best Archive Restoration / Preservation Project
Sponsored by Film London
* Camera Obscura: The Walerian Borowczyk Collection – Arrow Films / Deluxe Restoration (UK)

Best Archive Restoration / Preservation Title
Sponsored by ACSIL
* Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari – Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Stiftung (Germany)

The Jane Mercer Footage Researcher of the Year Award
Sponsored by AP Archive
Kate Griffiths (UK) for Soul Boys of the Western World

Footage Employee of the Year
Sponsored by Creative Skillset
* Lucy Smee – AP Archive

Footage Library of the Year
Sponsored by Bonded Services
* Footage Farm

Special Award
Sponsored by FOCAL International
* German Concentration Camps Factual Survey – Imperial War Museums (UK)

Lifetime Achievement Award
Sponsored by FOCAL International
* Raye Farr

PHOTOS of the WINNERS and a full list of all 265 submissions, synopses, and credits can be viewed on the FOCAL website now at http://www.focalint.org/focal-international-awards/2015/the-focal-international-awards-2015

Footage Award winners honoured at FOCAL International’s 12th annual gala awards ceremony