Files on Film – short (amateur) film competition

The National Archives is inviting aspiring filmmakers to put its ‘Files on film‘ by entering a short film competition.

The competition, supported by the Friends of The National Archives, is aiming to encourage filmmakers to use the diverse collection of documents and pictures housed at The National Archives in Kew as the inspiration for an original feature.

Ten documents from the archives, ranging from the floor plan of a 19th century ‘lunatic’ asylum to a West Indian view of life in post-war Britain, have been put online and entrants will need to use one or more of them as the starting point for a three-minute short film. It could be a character, a line, or the whole document.

Jenni Orme, Diverse Histories Records Specialist at The National Archives, said: “This is a brilliant opportunity for people to explore the records held at The National Archives in a creative and thought-provoking way. We hope it will highlight how valuable archives are for exploring these ‘hidden histories’ and bring them to life through the medium of film.”

Entries close on 24 September, 2013 and the winner will be chosen by a panel of judges including Oliver Morley, Chief Executive and Keeper, The National Archives and BAFTA award-winning filmmaker David Katznelson whose credits include Downton Abbey and Games of Thrones.

The winning entry will be shown on The National Archives’ website and will receive a cash prize of £450, while one runner-up will receive £200.

Full details of how to enter, terms and conditions and the digitised documents are available on the competition page.

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