Nature Matters: The launch of our new short film!

Friday 27th October 2023 (World Day of Audio-Visual Heritage) marked the day that the Yorkshire and North East Film Archives, York Business School and York St John University [Cinema and Social Justice project] collaboratively premiered new short film ‘Nature Matters’, also supported by National Lottery Heritage Fund.

'Nature Matters', a love letter to nature and a call to action, is a timely short film which speaks across generations, using over a century of archive footage to remind us of our innate relationship with the natural world.

The 16-minute film contains clips from 139 pieces of content in our collection, which had to be carefully curated, digitised and edited to form the powerful narrative that was finally displayed on the big screen.

The premiere screening was followed by a Q&A with producers from the YFA/NEFA team and York St John's Cinema and Social Justice Project and York Business School. The panel were able to answer questions about how the project came about, how the film was produced from archive footage, and how the film will be used in the future. One particular point that was noted was the creative use of commissioned poetry work by Ms Moem, in order to bookend the film in the editing process. We were delighted that Ms Moem was able to attend the premiere too.

Afterwards guests had the opportunity to charge up our new 'people-powered cinema': a solar and pedal-powered sustainable cinema, showcasing more environment-based footage from our vaults. Our partners for that particular project (Festival of Thrift) were on-hand to chat to guests about this particular venture.

Complimentary drinks were also provided in celebration, whilst guests and friends of the archive had the opportunity to mingle and chat with us further about all kinds of exciting things going on in the sector or the project, as well as discussing potential ways we can use the film going forward. Not only did our guests seem to enjoy the evening, but for all staff and volunteers involved it was a well-deserved way of recognising the work that had gone into the project with a fun and memorable event. 

Based on the feedback, the film was very well received. Some thoughts from viewers on the night include:

“[The film] has inspired me to try and get involved in more local community events and projects that will help the environment.”

“It has provoked reflection on just how long concerns and debates about environmental justice and climate have been ongoing.”

“ made me consider how film and other media for leisure can be used to protest the realities of climate change and how people can help the environment.”

The film is currently being entered into festivals and screened at select events in various venues across Yorkshire and the North East. In the coming months, the film will be released publicly for all to see via our online channels, so watch this space!