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AP acquires British Movietone Collection – will complete collection digitisation

Watch – Movietone footage from AP –  World Cup Final 1966: England V West Germany (1966)

The Associated Press has acquired the historic British Movietone film archive collection from Newsreel Archive.
AP started representing the Movietone collection for licensing in 2011 – see the PAN report and ITN Source has been representing the collection in the US – read the PAN report – no word of this deal situation under AP ownership.

Originally shown in British cinemas twice a week, the British Movietone archive is the first newsreel to have sound and then color film. It is renowned for containing the first recorded speech of leading personalities such as Gandhi and George Bernard Shaw.
As TV news began to take the place of cinema newsreels in the 1950s and ‘60s, British Movietone’s hard news coverage was increasingly accompanied by features on social issues, entertainment, lifestyle, sports and quirky, lighthearted stories that struggled to find a place on mainstream TV news but resonated with cinema audiences. This has left the archive collection with films that provide a social commentary on decades of history where society’s values changed at an unprecedented pace. The mission of British Movietone was to bring the world to British audiences and, with its extensive international and British coverage, its legacy is a stunning global archive resource.
Alwyn Lindsey, AP’s vice president of sales for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said: “By acquiring British Movietone, we are cementing our position as the foremost supplier of news and historical video.”


AP/Movietone Deal Details: 
• While the majority of the archive’s film assets have been fully digitised and available for licensing, around 15 percent of the collection has never been seen before and remains in its original 35 mm format. Documented on thousands of individual record cards, this unseen footage represents either the films that failed to make it onto the bulletins or were restricted by censors during World War II. AP hopes to catalog, digitise and release these films over time.

• For the past five years, AP has partnered with Newsreel Archive to make the British Movietone collection available internationally, including a freely accessible YouTube channel where anyone can browse a wide selection of British Movietone films. AP clients will continue to be able to access the digitised British Movietone films, the equivalent of 2,200 hours of footage, through the AP Archive platform. Having completed the sale of the British Movietone Archive, Newsreel Archive PTY will now act as AP’s exclusive archive distribution partner in Australia and New Zealand, offering their customers both AP and British Movietone footage.

• Movietone on PAN
• AP on PAN

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