The Focal Awards celebrates the very best of Archive from last year

Last night Imagen Ltd had the pleasure of attending the FOCAL International awards in central London. Each year the members and guests of FOCAL celebrate all things archive from the previous year. An opportunity to recognise the very best of long and short form productions utilising archive content, and the dedication of the people who make it happen.

Thanks and congratulations

In the spirit of an awards ceremony there’s a few people that we’d like to thank and congratulate.   Firstly, thanks to BBC Correspondent Kate Adie OBE, who conducted proceedings with professionalism, decorum, and humour. Congratulations to the team of Night Will Fall for their double award-winning work: Best Use of Footage in a History Production and Best Use of Footage in a Cinema Release. The liberation of the German concentration camps after WW2 will never be light viewing. Such a gruesome subject matter provided a sobering antithesis to a night of celebration. We all recognise the original camera crew’s efforts in filming those appalling scenes first hand, and the team who have delivered it to us 70 years on. Thank you, for providing us with footage which truly has to be seen to be believed, and remembered. Congratulations to Lucy Smee of AP Archive for winning Footage Employee of the Year. Anyone who’s been picked ahead of our Paul McAllister at Screenocean is a deserving winner. Special congratulations to the team of Mirror Mirror Productions and Retro Report for their work on ‘The Challenger Legacy’. Winning our sponsored award for Best Use of Footage on non-Television Platforms. The awards ceremony climaxed with the most deserved of all. A lifetime achievement for Raye Farr. Raye’s career focused on World War II and 20th century European history and she was part of the team which gave us the timeless ‘Word At War’.  Before her retirement in 2013 Raye was Director of the Steven Spielberg Film And Video Archive and of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's Permanent Exhibition. More details of her work in archive are available here. Thanks for the cheer and energy of our guests at the Cambridge Imaging table, Endemol and Mireality CEO Maria Ingold, and Archive Producer Libby Gregory. Well done to all other winners who I haven’t mentioned here and thanks to our friends in archive. Always a pleasure.   Clearly the night would not have been possible without the organisation and commitment of the team at FOCAL. Thank you. Here’s to another year of high-quality production, using the very best of archive.

Bringing the past to life

Seeing the award-winners’ passion and dedication to their craft, it struck me how important it is to preserve our legacy archives. Not only that, but keeping archive accessible is key for producers to do what they do best; bringing unforgettable moments back to life.  

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