BY DAMYANA BOZHINOVA

Film London is the capital's screen industries agency.  The organisation strives to develop an original creative culture and support the development of the city's new and emerging filmmaking talent, investing in a diverse and rich film culture. Funded by the Mayor of London and the NationalLottery through the BFI, they also receive support from Arts Council England, Creative Skillset and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Film London also manages the British Film Commission (www.britishfilmcommission.org.uk) through a public/private partnership which is funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport through the BFI, and UK Trade and Investment. www.filmlondon.org.uk

London’s Screen Archives is managed by Film London and is a unique network of historic film collections working together on a common mission: to bring London’s film heritage alive.  They established relationships with some of the country’s leading national museums, archives, libraries, educational institutions, community and special focus organizations which hold film and video material as part of their broader collections. Through their work, these historical and often-neglected films can be seen and enjoyed. Their website allow you to browse over 25,000 titles and view hundreds of films online: www.filmlondon.org.uk/lsa

Since 2015, Film London is working with Brunel University to get young Hillingdon students involved in their neighbourhood’s film history, telling their own stories about contemporary London life using archive and newly-shot film footage.

On Wednesday 23 March at 7pm at the Uxbridge Odeon a selection of films from across the London Borough of Hillingdon from the 1920s onwards were screened: Uxbridge May Carnival (1923) Coronation Procession (1953) Tour of Ruislip & Northwood (1960) At Your Service (Hayes, 1962) Uxbridge Redevelopment (1967) The Hillingdon Project (1981), most of them were provided by Uxbridge Library’s’ archive.

Photo credit: Radvilė Jazdauskaitė
Photo credit: Radvilė Jazdauskaitė

The innovative part in this event was the screening of two new films based on local history of the Hillingdon Borough: A Journey through Time (2016) and Tuning in to the Past (2016). They were both made by five Brunel students, the first one was produced by two Media and Communication students: Simisola Fatona and Damyana Bozhinova, which features Carolina Herranz-Carr as the young person exploring and guiding the audience in a journey through the Hillingdon photographic archives as a starting point for a view of the borough in 2016. The second movie was produced by Jade Hitchen and Radville Jazdauskaite, which depicts Hillingdon through its archive footage, building up to the present day.

The event, was a huge success and according to Paul Moody and Sutish K Sharma, who led the project and supervised the production of the films, this experimental endeavor turned out to be successful and received very positive feedback. Hence, it is highly likely the collaborative work between Brunel University, the Hillingdon borough’s council and London’s Screen Archives to continue and allow more engagement with Brunel students, which seek to enhance their video production skills. Nevertheless, this will assertively result in more  student led cultural projects representing the past, the present and the future of London boroughs and help bring screen heritage ‘alive’ for London.