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British Film Institute

British Film Institute

The BFI is the UK’s lead organization for film, television and the moving image. It is a cultural charity that restores and distributes films across the globe. It cares for the BFI National Archive, one of the most significant film and television archive in the world.

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British Film Institute
  • Blue Black Permanent

    Directed by Margaret Tait • Drama • With Celia Imrie, Jack Shepherd, Gerda Stevenson, James Fleet • 1992 • 84 minutes

    Margaret Tait's tale of three generations of women in a Scottish family swirls out through a series of interlinking stories and recollections, taking place in Edinburgh and the O...

  • At Last the 1948 Show - Series 1 Episode 1

    Directed by Ian Fordyce • Drama • With Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Marty Feldman, Barry Cryer, Aimi MacDonald • 1967 • 24 minutes

    The very first show, which survived in David Frost’s personal archive, still manages to astonish as a bold new departure in television comedy. J...

  • Tomorrow's Saturday

    Directed by Michael Grigsby • Documentary • 1962 • 18 minutes

    Impressions of a typical Saturday at Blackburn, a milling town in the North of England.

  • O Dreamland

    Directed by Lindsay Anderson • Documentary • 1953 • 11 minutes

    Lindsay Anderson’s 12–minute tour of Margate’s Dreamland funfair is immediately notable for its deliberately bleak and unattractive photography and a spare and impressionistic soundtrack. Despite the absence of a commentary, the film...

  • Refuge England

    Directed by Robert Vas • Documentary • 1959 • 27 minutes

    Director Robert Vas was himself a refugee from Hungary, having arrived in London only three years earlier when he received a grant from the BFI to make the film. Despite its slightly incongruous use of voiceover, the film was adopted by th...

  • Enginemen

    Directed by Michael Grigsby • Documentary • 1959 • 21 minutes

    Produced just in time to be screened under the banner of the late–1950s ‘Free Cinema’ documentary movement, Enginemen records the life and work of engine workers in a locomotive shed just outside Manchester. At the time of British Rai...

  • Nice Time

    Directed by Claude Goretta & Alain Tanner • Documentary • 1957 • 16 minutes

    The swirling neon frenzy of Piccadilly Circus has never been better captured than in this innovative short, which presents the London landmark as a bewildering collage of image and sound.

    Swiss film enthusiasts and BFI ...

  • Food for a Blush

    Directed by Elizabeth Russell • Documentary • 1959 • 29 minutes

    Food for a Blush is a documentary of worry, satirising some aspects of London life.

  • The Vanishing Street

    Directed by Robert Vas • Documentary • 1962 • 20 minutes

    This classic documentary by Robert Vas depicts the way of life in an east London Jewish community on Hessel Street, Whitechapel. Its back-to-back houses and small shops are about to be replaced by high-rise flats. The thriving community is...

  • Together

    Directed by Lorenza Mazzetti • Documentary • 1956 • 52 minutes

    Italian director Lorenza Mazzetti borrowed techniques from the neorealist school to conjure this striking study of East End life, one of the original Free Cinema shorts. Following the ambling existence of two deaf-mute dock workers, ...

  • Edward Hopper

    Directed by Ron Peck • Documentary • 1981 • 47 minutes

    A study of the 20th century American painter's life and work.

  • Hidden Heritage: The Roots of Black American Painting

    Directed by Andrew Piddington • Documentary • With David Driskell • 1991 • 52 minutes

    David Driskell, the pathbreaking art history professor and artist, is the focus of HIDDEN HERITAGE: THE ROOTS OF BLACK AMERICAN PAINTING. He made it his life mission to trace the work of Black artists from the ...

  • Giacometti

    Directed by Michael Gill • Documentary • 1967 • 14 minutes

    The artist at work in his studio shows artist Giacometti drawing and modelling in his studio in Paris.

  • Ascendency

    Directed by Edward Bennett • Drama • With Julie Covington, Ian Charleson • 1982 • 92 minutes

    Set in Ireland in 1920, Ascendancy is a powerful meditation on English guilt over the tormented history of Northern Ireland. Connie (Julie Covington) is an English aristocrat driven to despair over the h...

  • Maeve

    Directed by Pat Murphy & John Davies • Drama • With Mary Jackson • 1981 • 90 minutes

    Pat Murphy and John Davis’ experimental film attempts to posit an alternative, feminist perspective on the Troubles and Irish nationalism. Flitting between the various pasts and present, it follows the experienc...

  • 2 X 50 Years of French Cinema

    Directed by Anne-Marie Miéville & Jean-Luc Godard • Documentary • With Michel Piccoli • 1995 • 50 minutes

    Jean-Luc Godard produced this ambitious project, directed by his wife, Anne-Marie Miéville. Travelling around six regions (each of which featured in a classic film) he interviews young local...

  • 100 Years of Japanese Cinema

    Directed by Nagisa Oshima • Documentary • With William B. White, Nagisa Oshima • 1996 • 52 minutes

    The forces and themes that have shaped his nation's cinema drive Nagisa Oshima's forceful and erudite essay. Based entirely on archive footage, it considers the rediscovery of Daisuke Ito's Chuji's...

  • 40,000 Years of Dreaming

    Directed by George Miller • Documentary • With George Miller • 1996 • 65 minutes

    Mad Max director George Miller explores the tradition of film production in Australia, forging a link between the imported technology of filmmaking and the ancient Aboriginal creation myths. In parallel with tracing...

  • Abstract Cinema

    Directed by Keith Griffiths • Documentary • With Stan Brakhage, William Moritz, John Whitney, Michael Scroggins, Jules Engel • 1993 • 51 minutes

    Exploration of the work of pioneers in abstract cinema using rare archive film, film clips and interviews to demonstrate the influence of the early cin...

  • The Animals Film

    Directed by Victor Schonfeld & Myriam Alaux • Documentary • With Julie Christie, Richard Ryder, Roger Ulrich, Lord Houghton, Peter Singer • 1981 • 136 minutes

    Documentary about the abuse of animals in factory farming, sport and research. Made over a period of two years in Britain and the U.S., i...

  • Around India with a Movie Camera

    Directed by Sandhyu Suri • Documentary • 2018 • 72 minutes

    Award-winning filmmaker Sandhya Suri (I for India) skillfully weaves together archival footage—including hand colored sequences—with a new score by composer Soumik Datta to create an emotionally resonant story about life across India fro...

  • Cinema of Tears

    Directed by Nelson Pereira Dos Santos • Documentary • With Raul Cortez, André Barros, Christiane Torloni, Patrick Tannus, Cosme Alves Neto • 1995 • 95 minutes

    Personal view of the Latin American cinema by Brazilian director Nelson Pereira dos Santos, based on an adaptation of a novel by Silvia O...

  • Dreams That Money Can Buy

    Directed by Hans Richter • Drama • With Jack Bittner, Werner Brandes, Norma Cazanjian, Lauren Denny, Joseph Freeman • 1948 • 81 minutes

    Joe, a young man down on his luck, discovers he has the power to create dreams, and sets up a business selling them to others. The 'dreams' he gives to his clie...

  • Drifters

    Directed by John Grierson • Documentary • 1929 • 50 minutes

    Story of the North Sea herring fleets. Filmed around the coast of Yarmouth and Lowestoft and Lerwick in the Shetlands in all weathers, but using some studio sets for interiors.