BBC FOUR has commissioned a 20-part series called ‘Britain on Film’ that will use archive footage from over 500 Rank Organisation cinema documentary films to give modern audiences a new visual perspective on the 1960s.
ITN Source, the footage licensing division of ITN, is supplying ten hours of archive to BBC Scotland, which is producing the series. The content is entirely sourced from Rank’s ‘Look at Life’ series, which was shown in Odeon and Gaumont cinemas from 1959 until 1969. The vast majority of this footage has never been seen on television before.
The original footage is taken from 35mm colour reels, with ITN Source restoring some content that had deteriorated over time. The series is Executive Produced by David Okuefuna and is commissioned by the Controller of BBC FOUR, Richard Klein.
“After I was approached by ITN Source, who alerted me to the vast spread of the Look at Life series, I realised there was a wealth of content to bring the sixties to life,” said David Okuefuna, Executive Director of Britain on Film. “The films shine a light on every element of the decade, not just the ‘swinging sixties’ stereotype. We hope this series will be a richly enjoyable trip down memory lane for some – and a window on an unfamiliar world for others.”
The scheduling of Britain on Film has yet to be finalised, but the first run of films are expected to appear on BBC FOUR between now and March 2013. Further details will follow in due course.