Written by Shona Smith on May 6, 2020. Posted in General Interest

UK National Health Service Charities Together appeal uses BFI archive footage

The Event & Visual Communication Association (EVCOM) and the British Film Institute (BFI) have collaborated on a new film to support the UK National Health Service (NHS). The short film created by EVCOM Board Member and film director Tim Langford to help raise urgent funds for the NHS Charities Together appeal features footage of healthcare and the NHS in the BFI National Archive.

Actor Iain Glen (Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey) reads a poem by Michael Rosen that was written to celebrate the 60th Anniversay of the NHS in 2008. The BFI footage of the NHS spans from its inception in 1948. More recent film work directed and produced by EVCOM members are used in addition to archive footage.

The purpose of the film is to promote the NHS Charities Together campaign, to encourage donations to support the brilliant work of NHS staff and volunteers during the crisis. The short film was released on a Thursday evening to coincide with the national clap for our NHS which sees people around the UK stand in their gardens or windows to thank healthcare workers.

As productions are unable to shoot on location, alternative methods of production including self-shooting, remote shooting and reworking archive footage has been used to create new content under the coronavirus lockdown. These projects span short films and advertising spots to short dramas, such as Isolation Stories, a series of short dramas from writer and producer Jeff Pope to be commissioned on ITV.

Patrick Russell, BFI National Archive Senior Curator of non-fiction says, “This archive short beautifully underscores the precious bonds between our past and our present by interweaving the NHS archive preserved by the BFI with superb contemporary work made by EVCOM and selfies taken from NHS staff on the frontline now, to tell a narrative of the generations of an NHS that has always been there for us. This powerful and important film is the latest example of a rich and detailed history of the NHS on film and we are delighted to bring it in to the BFI National Archive.”

To donate to the campaign, CLAP to 70507 to give £5 to donate or donate online.

Film Credits:
Words: These Are The Hands by kind permission Michael Rosen and family
Director: Tim Langford
Voice Over: Iain Glen
Film clips take from BFI National Archive / Crown ©, UEA’s East Anglian Film Archive, The Edge Picture Company

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