Three projects including a website which fuses traditional archive footage with digital music technologies and a film initiative centred on the radical politics of the 1980s have received new investment.
Screen WM has announced UK Film Council lottery support for three diverse projects all aiming to make the region’s screen heritage more accessible.
The projects being supported by the Digital Film Archive Fund are the Media Archive for Central England (MACE), Vivid’s Participation and Television Junction’s WeVee projects.
MACE is a moving image collection for the Midlands. Screen WM is pumping £80,000 into the two-year project to open up the region’s collections to a wider audience by putting 250 hours of material online.
The project also intends to create a searchable catalogue of 40,000 titles from the collection as well as a series of DVD compilations.
MACE director James Patterson said: “Our job at MACE is not only to create the resources for the region but to find exciting ways to present them and connect people to them.
“This investment will make a huge difference to our ability to make our collections available to people to enjoy and to learn about their heritage.”
Arts organisation Vivid has also been a beneficiary of the Digital Film Archive Fund for its Participation exhibition and archive project centred on the emergence of new film forms, radical politics and practices, led by the British workshop movement in the 1980s.
The pieces presented in the exhibition centre on the rise of Thatcherism and the social turmoil of the period.
The work of the Birmingham Film and Video Workshop plays a central part in the project and the exhibition looks at how the group produced the UK’s first feature shot on video and brought work made in collaboration with young people to the mainstream through Channel 4.
Vivid director Yasmeen Baig-Clifford said: “Vivid itself grew out of the Birmingham workshop scene of the 80s; a time of creative ferment and challenges to the mainstream, and a scene that embraced black film makers, feminist film makers, the documentary tradition, the alternative scene and early participatory work with young people.
“Vivid grew out of this ferment, and we are passionate about the need to finally uncover the people and the work of this period.
“After 17 years of supporting a multiplicity of moving image practice in the WM region and far beyond, this project is an important and timely one for Vivid.”
The third project which has received funding is the WeVee project, which is targeted at 14-25 year olds.
With this audience in mind Television Junction is developing WeVee as an interactive online site which provides users with the chance to create “mash-ups” to music using moving-image archive clips which users will be able to post on social networking sites.
Television Junction co-managing director Yvonne Davies said: “The WeVee project will fuse traditional archive footage and the new digital technologies to open up the wealth of moving image archive to a new audience.
“The possibilities for creating ways of viewing and reviewing the hidden treasures of our region’s moving image archive are only limited by the imagination of the WeVee site users.”
Screen WM head of education archive and audience development Sara Clowes said: “Screen WM are thrilled to be providing investment support to these three projects, all of which in their own innovative ways will ensure increased public access to our region’s cultural heritage.”