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Double Award for the Yorkshire and North East Film Archives

The Yorkshire and North East Film Archives have done it again! Following their 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. Their 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, industryleading 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: https://yfanefa.link/costofliv...

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 theArchive’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: https://www.ysff.co.uk/whats-o...

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.”


Cost of Living FOCAL Award ‘Best Use of Footage in a Short Film Production’

Image 1. From left to right: Lauren Stephenson, Martin Hall (York St John University Cinema and Social Justice Project), Andy Burns (Yorkshire and North East Film Archives), Steve Rawle (York St John University Cinema and Social Justice Project), Graham Relton (Yorkshire and North East Film Archives) and Diane Paradiso (WPA Film Library sponsors of the Award).

Image 2. From left to right: Graham Relton (Archive Manager, Yorkshire and North East Film Archives) and Andy Burns (Film Maker/Editor, Yorkshire and North East Film Archives).

Image 3. From left to right: Ed Byrne (comedian and presenter), Steve Rawle, Lauren Stephenson (York St John University Cinema and Social Justice Project), Andy Burns, Graham Relton (Yorkshire and North East Film Archives), Martin Hall (York St John University Cinema and Social Justice Project) and Diane Paradiso (WPA Film Library sponsors of the Award).


FOCAL Award ‘Footage Person of the Year’

Image 4. Graham Relton (Archive Manager, Yorkshire and North East Film Archives).

Image 5. From left to right: Chris Fossey (Iron Mountain Entertainment Services sponsors of the award) and Graham Relton (Archive Manager, Yorkshire and North East Film Archives).

Image 6. From left to right: Ed Byrne (comedian and presenter), Graham Relton (Archive Manager, Yorkshire and North East Film Archives) and Chris Fossey (Iron Mountain Entertainment Services sponsors of the award).

About the Yorkshire and North East Film Archives

The Yorkshire Film Archive was formed as a registered charity (and company limited by guarantee) in 1988, to preserve the rich film heritage of our region. It has grown from a small collection of films discovered through local community programmes to one of the UK’s leading regional film archives, respected nationally and internationally for its commitment to finding, preserving and creating access to its collections for the widest range of audiences. In 2012, the YFA constitution was changed to incorporate responsibility for the North East Film Archive, extending the remit of the Archive to ‘find, preserve and provide public access to moving images made in, or about Yorkshire and the North East of England’.

Together the collections now total in excess of 70,000 items. The Archive collections are largely non-fiction material, held largely on film and various videotape formats, though contemporary material is increasingly acquired on a range of digital formats. Collections range from regional television news and programmes, through to advertising collections, the output of local cine clubs, community and amateur filmmakers, and astonishing home movie collections revealing a rich social history of everyday life over each decade of the 20th century.

YFA/NEFA are wholly committed to providing the widest possible access to their collections, creating innovative programmes of work to enable people to watch, learn from and enjoy the films. These include annual programmes of outreach screenings and large-scale outdoor events, as well as exhibition work with a range of cultural heritage partners, education programmes, and a strong record of inclusion of material in television broadcasts.

The charity has an exemplary track record of managing and delivering a wide range of work; the commitment and ability to turn ‘inaccessible collections’ (fragile, original film material) into ‘accessible heritage assets’ has seen the Archive forge ahead in online provision to its collections, not only through its film screenings and web‐based collections, but also by developing wider strategies with health, tourism and heritage partners through digital innovation and new uses of archive content.

About York St John University

York St John University was founded on 17 May 1841, achieved University status in 2006 and Research Degree Awarding Powers for PhD and doctoral programmes in 2015.

York St John University has been named top university in the North for teaching quality by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023.

Over the past few years, we have invested £100 million in transforming our 11-acre campus in the historic centre of York, including the new York St John Creative Centre.

As well as the main campus on Lord Mayor's Walk in York, the University has a Sports Park on Haxby Road in York and a London campus near Canary Wharf.

About FOCAL International

FOCAL International (Federation of Commercial Audiovisual Libraries) is a specialist, professional, not-for-profit trade association formed in 1985. It is fully established as one of the leading voices in the industry which represents the footage and content libraries in over 30 countries, the archive producers, researchers, consultants and facility companies. FOCAL International celebrate and champion the use of archival footage across all forms of creative media platforms with over 250 global memberships.