Double award winners at 2022 FOCAL International Awards

4th July 2022


Yorkshire and North East Film Archives win FOCAL International Award

The Yorkshire and North East Film Archives have won two prestigious awards at the annual FOCAL International Awards ceremony in London. A panel of judges from across the global film archive sector voted the UK regional charity ‘Footage Company of the Year’ at the 2022 FOCAL Awards. 

Formed in 1985, FOCAL (Federation of Commercial Audiovisual Libraries) are the pre-eminent voice and leading authority on audiovisual archives. The panel were looking for companies who had introduced new initiatives in the past two years that had benefited their business and audiences, especially during the COVID pandemic. 

In October 2020, the Archive launched its new website and content management system  It was built and developed during the first lockdown with Imagen, experts in smart video management solutions.

Collections Manager, Megan McCooley said,

“Not only has the new system enhanced the way we manage and care for our collections, but it has transformed the way in which we deliver to audiences.  From educational and community activities to commissions and commercial requests, connecting audiences to the footage we care for is at the very heart of what we do.  And with greater access to archive content, artists, filmmakers, researchers, and producers can more easily discover the content they need to continue to tell their stories.”

The Yorkshire Film Archive was established in 1988 and merged with the North East Film Archive 10 years ago, to become the Yorkshire and North East Film Archives.  A small charity with limited capacity, the organisation has always punched above its weight; for example developing the 2013 award-winning product Memory Bank which is a reminiscence tool for older people. 

Dating from their earliest film recording Queen Victoria visiting Sheffield in 1897, the collections include work from early pioneering filmmakers and production companies, industrial and advertising collections (including extensive Rowntree Mackintosh confectionary adverts), local television news and regional programmes, and works of amateur filmmakers, cine clubs, and home movie makers.

In the last few years, the Archives have supported a variety of productions including the four-part Netflix series ‘The Ripper’, Roger Michell comedy ‘The Duke’ and Roger’s recent feature-length documentary about the Queen: ‘Elizabeth: A Portrait in Part(s)’. 

The Archives have also facilitated artists and filmmakers across the North and beyond including short films and outdoor video installations in Newcastle, Hull, and Bradford as well as leading on and editing ‘Lost Connections.’  This short film which draws on a century of archive footage from the 12 UK regional and national film archives was the winner of the ‘Best Use of Footage in a Short Film’ at this year’s FOCAL International Awards. 

Archive Manager, Graham Relton said: 

“To be recognised by your peers within the global film archive community is a real honour, and to come away with two FOCAL Awards was quite surreal. We are immensely proud of the whole team, past and present staff, volunteers, trustees and wider stakeholders who have all played their part in the success of the organisation over the last 34 years.”

Clare Morrow, Chair of the Yorkshire and North East Film Archives said: 

“I want to pay tribute to the hard work, passion and dedication of all of our staff which we are delighted has been recognised by these two awards. They work tirelessly to acquire, preserve and make available to audiences across the UK and around the world wonderful footage which captures the essence of the life of Yorkshire and the North East over more than a century.  Our vaults contain thousands of films, and in every can, tape or digital file are thousands more stories waiting to be revealed.” 

Watch the Award-Winning Lost Connections production here.

Images © FOCAL/SA Images