TIME/IMAGE Launch Event

Last night was the official launch of the Time/Image project and we marked the occasion with a screening at London’s renowned Somerset House. Chief Executive of New Deal of the Mind Martin Bright, Head of Digital Domesday Paul Gerhardt and Catherine Fieschi, Director of Counterpoint all gave wonderful speeches pledging their support to the work we’re currently undertaking. We screened London 1942, Steel Goes to Sea and World Garden, which were all met with great interest … Read More

Cataloguing the Films of the British Council

Cataloguing the expansive selection of films that form the British Council’s documentary archive was always going to be a complex task. There are a number of considerations to take into account, from deciding on methods of categorization, to deciphering the date of release if different to the date of completion. With this in mind when reviewing back issues of the … Read More

Clouds above the rest?

Geoffrey Unsworth alongside fellow cinematic legend and BC Documentary Film Archive graduate Jack Cardiff. Photo courtesy of Jack Cardiff.com The TIME/IMAGE team love a success story and we are always on the look out for an unsung hero amongst the BC Documentary Film Archive. This time round, however, we may have found someone with a status worthy of being deemed … Read More

Digitisation: The Changing Image of Archives

When thinking about archives, the tendancy is to summon images of dark and dank vaults, huge underground warehouses filled with shelves with box upon box upon box. Perhaps the X-Files’ Cigarette Smoking Man is lurking somewhere in shadows, or the Ark of the Covenant hidden away in a pile of crates. And when one talk of “rescuing” films from archives, … Read More

The Black Sheep of the British Council Film Archive?

TIME/IMAGE may have, perhaps, found the black sheep amongst the many filmmakers of the BC Film Archive – former head of documentary at the BBC and one time collaborator of John Grierson, Paul Rotha. Originally born Paul Thompson, Rotha was an uncompromising filmmaker and intellectual. After being told to change his name by one of his university professors, Rotha wasted very little time garnering the reputation of maverick with … Read More

We’re off the see the wizard…

With everyone eager to get the project set up and running in order to make the most out of the British Council’s Film Archive, time is most certainly of the essence. So, after spending all day rushing around the office, hard at it, what can be a better escape than hiding away underground, locking yourself up in a dark room and watching … Read More

Exploring the National Archives at Kew

On Wednesday, three of us decided to head over to the National Archives at Kew to investigate some of the records held on the British Council films. We were aware that there were a lot of separate files held within the catalogue, but I don’t think we were quite expecting to find what we did. Although the process for access … Read More


From the early nineteen thirties, for a period of about twenty years, the British Council was an enthusiastic commissioner and distributor of documentaries from some of the finest film makers of the time, designed to showcase Britain to the outside world. Today, these films – over 400 of them –  are looked after by the BFI in their archives, almost completely usused. Over the … Read More