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2022 Archive

Best Use of Footage in a Factual or Natural World Production

The Factual or Natural World Production category includes documentaries or docudramas that deal with current affairs or topical issues, people, events or phenomena. The Factual genre covers a wide array of subjects such as the economy, politics, the environment or natural world, science & technology, natural disasters, climate breakdown, and human-interest stories. Submissions can include feature length productions and series.

2022 Winner

To be announced at the FOCAL International Awards 2022 ceremony on June 23rd

Shortlisted

Bruno v Tyson

Director:
Benjamin Hirsch, Kevin MacDonald
Producer(s):
Rick Murray
Footage Archive Producer:
James RM Hunt, Matt hew Phillip Price, Benjamin Hirsch
Archival Sources:
BBC, Sky Sports, Fremantle, ESPN, ABC
Production Company:
Workerbee
Country of Production:
United Kingdom

Synopsis

The story of Iron Mike Tyson, as the friend and enemy of Britain’s Frank Bruno. Both bred on the mean streets, they both used boxing as a way out. But their lives couldn’t have been more different.
This feature-length documentary charts the sensational highs and calamitous lows of two of the world’s most iconic black sportsmen, capped off with a reunion between the two foes; where they discuss life after the final bell. By award-winning director Kevin MacDonald and Benjamin Hirsch, we relive this legendary boxing rivalry, spanning two epic fights that were mired by vicious politics and volatile race relations.
Bruno had a boyhood dream to become Champion Of The World, but he had to downplay his heritage to be accepted by the establishment. Despite being defeated by Tyson, Frank became a national treasure. Meanwhile, the once invincible Tyson crashed and burned, losing his title, jailed for the rape of a beauty pageant contestant and despised by his countrymen.
With the Heavyweight king dethroned, Bruno seized his opportunity to finally grasp the title he had always dreamed of. But it was to be short lived, as Tyson was out of jail, and was gunning for Bruno and his title.

The Return: Life After Isis

Director:
Alba Sotorra Clua
Producer(s):
Alba Sotorra Clua, Vesna Cudic, Carles Torres
Footage Archive Producer:
Roxana Portase, Júlia Parés Fabrellas, Pau Galan Rosas
Archival Sources:
Anha TV, ABC News, A HBR, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Aerial Videography - Epic Drone Films CBS News
Production Company:
Alba Sotorra Productions, MetFilm, Sky
Country of Production:
United Kingdom

Synopsis

Alba Sotorra's exclusive access to Roj Camp in northeastern Syria brings us closer to the harsh reality of a group of Western women trapped by their past as members of ISIS.

Shamima Begum left the UK with two friends when she was only fifteen. American Hoda Muthana emigrated to Syria at nineteen, while inciting her Twitter followers to follow in her footsteps or commit attacks in the US. Alongside them, thousands of women who fell into the clutches of ISIS propaganda are crying out for a second chance at a fresh start in their home countries, while their governments remain impassive, blocking their repatriation. Their departure filled headlines around the world; now, their struggle for return has come back to haunt them, generating a debate that ignites passions in the West.

In an effort to observe without prejudice, Alba Sotorra portrays Shamima, Hoda, Hafida, Nawal and Kimberly with unprecedented closeness and intimacy as they tell their harrowing stories, revealing why they were drawn to ISIS, the horrors they experienced under its rule, their fears and their hopes for the future.

Memory Box: Echoes of 9/11

Director:
David Belton, Bjørn Johnson
Producer(s):
Hugo Godwin, Elizabeth Fischer
Footage Archive Producer:
James RM Hunt
Archival Sources:
Ruth Sergel – The personal testimonies of those affected by 9/11 collated in 2002/2003 in her project “Voices of 9.11.”, Dr Mark Heath footage from the bottom on the Tower after the collapse, Street level footage from Jameson Gong, The contributors personal archive, NBC News archive throughout the film
Production Company:
Dog and Duck, NBC News Studios, Yard 44
Country of Production:
United States, United Kingdom

Synopsis

“The Memory Box: Echoes of 9/11” is a feature documentary that tells the story of September 11th through a unique set of eyewitness testimonies, recorded in a small plywood video box in the months following the attacks. Twenty years later, the eyewitnesses return to the box to share their memories and reflect on America today. Bridging past and present, the film is a searingly emotional portrayal of hope, resilience and how to heal.

Launch! On the Sea with Scotland's Lifeboats

Director:
Shona Thomson
Producer(s):
Shona Thomson, Jen Skinner, Jack Lockhart
Footage Archive Producer:
Shona Thomson
Archival Sources:
RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution), National Library of Scotland Moving Image Archive
Production Company:
A Kind of Seeing, Screen Argyll
Country of Production:
United Kingdom

Synopsis

A new cinematic release of archive film and video with an original immersive 5.1 surround soundtrack celebrating volunteer RNLI crews, created as a 2021 big-screen tour of archive film and relevant in-cinema activity to coastal communities across Scotland. For one of the very few times in its 200-year history, the much-loved RNLI has opened up its moving image archives to a professional curator/filmmaker for this special project with archive footage at its heart: https://launchonthesea.com.

Shona Thomson – FOCAL award-winner for her work on innovative platforms – has directed, researched and edited Launch! in a co-production with island-based Screen Argyll. The creative interplay in Shona’s work of archive film inspiring music continues her collaboration with sound artist and nature beatboxer Jason Singh as he assembled some of UK’s best contemporary musicians to compose and record the soundtrack in lockdown.

Launch! has been two years in the making with unprecedented archival access. 1960s colour promotional RNLI films and breath-taking digital video captured by crews’ helmet cameras in the past ten years out on the wild sea is interwoven with rare 1920s footage sourced from the National Library of Scotland Moving Image Archive bringing home that it truly takes a community to launch a lifeboat.

Playing with Sharks

Director:
Sally Aitken
Producer(s):
Bettina Dalton
Footage Archive Producer:
Robyn Smith, Carl Reinecke, Lisa Savage, Natalia Mironova
Archival Sources:
Ron Taylor Film Productions, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, BBC Motion Gallery, The Footage Company Australia, NBC News Archives
Production Company:
A Wildbear Entertainment Production, National Geographic, Screen NSW, Dogwoof, TDOG
Country of Production:
Australia, United States, United Kingdom

Synopsis

A true pioneer in both underwater filmmaking and shark research, Valerie Taylor is a living legend and icon in the underwater world whose life’s work has become the basis for much of what we know about sharks today. Through remarkable underwater archival footage, along with interviews with Valerie herself, "Playing with Sharks," follows this daring ocean explorer’s trajectory from champion spearfisher to passionate shark protector.