Double Award for YFA & NEFA!

23rd June 2023
Double Award for YFA & NEFA!

We've done it again! Following our success at the 2022 FOCAL International Awards, the team are delighted to have won two more coveted awards at the 2023 event held in London.

The ceremony on 15th June marked FOCAL International’s 20th year of the prestigious competition dedicated to the promotion and celebration of archival footage, and its contribution to the creative and cultural industries.

The Archives believe that our moving image heritage can be compared to looking into a mirror from the past, and what we see reflected can shine a light on the cracks that we see in our world today. Our short film ‘Cost of Living’ does just that and secured the award for ‘Best Use of Footage in a Short Film Production’.

Commissioned by York St John University’s Cinema and Social Justice Project, the film exposes our collective memories of past crises, and the cries for social and economic justice that continue to ring so loudly in our ears today. The film was produced by Archive Manager, Graham Relton, who uncovered over 200 source films with the help of colleagues David Parsons and Montserrat Rovira Prieto. Filmmaker Andy Burns then wove his magic, working from a ‘moving image paintbox’ to create a cohesive and compelling film.

Martin Hall, York St John University Cinema and Social Justice project said:

“Working with the Yorkshire and North East Film Archives has been a delight from day one and it was inevitable that the hard work done by Editor Andy Burns, Producer Graham Relton and their team would be celebrated by the major, industry–leading FOCAL awards. The film which we made together grapples with important and timely social issues and so I am pleased that this FOCAL award will help to spread that message.”

From Hebden Bridge to Harrogate, Crystal Palace to Brighton, Bristol, and Manchester, the award-winning ‘Cost of Living’ has been screened at festivals and used in schools and colleges the length and breadth of the UK. It is also freely available to view on YouTube:

Later in the evening, Graham Relton was also the recipient of a special individual award for ‘Footage Person of the Year’, recognising his contribution to the sector. For over 15 years Graham has been a proud champion of the Yorkshire and North East Film Archives, its collections, team and the industry, going above and beyond to make the region’s rich film heritage accessible to all.

Dale Grayson, YFA/NEFA Trustee and Head of Rights and Policy at All3Media, said:

“Since joining the archive in 2007, Graham has taken on many different roles - from project and team management to presenting films, selling footage, managing marketing/PR, curating, and producing. His flexibility is key to the Archive's success. However, he is the first to acknowledge that he couldn't do his part without the hard work of the team and the rich and diverse collections preserved in the vaults. Being recognised in this way by his global peers is a significant personal achievement for Graham, but it is also a reflection of the passion and dedication of the entire team.”

In 2022 Graham conceived and executed ‘Seen to be Believed’ with colleagues Ruth Patman and Andy Burns: a standalone production booked by over 80 community and film groups (over 5000 people) screened as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. He has been instrumental in the Archive’s TV Time Machine project, charting the history of television in the North, orchestrating events and presenting locality-based screenings, and has also kickstarted the Archive’s Nature Matters project supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

His knowledge of the collections is vast, but it’s his willingness to help that sets him apart. Whether you’re a student, artist, museum curator, independent filmmaker, archive researcher or production company, Graham endeavours to unlock the archives for you.

YFA and NEFA narrowly missed out on a treble success at the event with ‘Echoes of the North: Four Chapters in Time’ shortlisted in the ‘Best Use of Footage in a History Production’ category.

Echoes of the North is an extraordinary collaboration between the Yorkshire and North East Film Archives, North West Film Archive and London’s Archive Film Agency, bringing early moving image heritage and the sounds of a brass band together, creating a visually and musically immersive experience for its audience. Led by Jonny Best at the Yorkshire Silent Film Festival (soon to be ‘Northern Silents’) the production is set to new music for brass band, composed by Neil Brand and premiered at the Morecambe Winter Gardens by the Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band. The breathtaking live experience returns this July with performances in Halifax, Durham and Manchester. Find out more here.

 Graham Relton, Archive Manager and FOCAL International ‘Footage Person of the Year’ 2023 said:

“I am passionate about the work that we do at the Yorkshire and North East Film Archives. I care about the people I work with, and I love the rich and diverse moving image collections that we are privileged to be custodians of. It’s personal: it’s about people, place and, importantly, a regional identity that I am very proud to champion. My ethos is ‘It’s not a vault full of films, it’s a vault full of stories’ and I hope we can continue to reveal even more stories in the years to come.”