20/09/13 - Successful Digital Heritage Project wraps up in Norwich with free public screening of archive film

On Monday 23rd September Norwich’s Heritage Economic and Regeneration Trust (HEART) will be holding a special event at Cinema City on St Andrews Street, presenting the evaluation of their highly successful Digital Heritage Project to invited guests, partners and supporters of the project followed by a FREE public screening of some of the project’s special archive film productions in the cinema’s Screen 1 taking place at 6:45pm – 8pm.

After becoming a partner of the project in March 2011, Norwich HEART collaborated with two major film archives, the UEA’s East Anglian Film Archive and Rouen-based Pole Image Haute-Normandie, and backed by 50% funding from the Interreg IVA France (Channel)-England programme. The aim was to bring archive film alive on both sides of the channel and make it more accessible for contemporary audiences. A selection of films were taken from both archives and digitised for the creation of the Archive Alive website (www.archivealive.org), which is dedicated to showcasing a timeline of regional archive film as far back as 1896.

The project illustrates priceless, unique moments in the lives of people from East Anglia and Normandy, showing how they lived, loved, learn, worked and relaxed, and what their communities and cities used to be like. The Digital Heritage Project also offered aprogramme of events and screenings in regional theatres and via the hugely popular Archive Alive vintage mobile cinema tour, which took place in June this year.

So far, the Digital Heritage Project has reached an audience of at least 17,000 people across 153 public screenings, at more than 40 towns, cities and venues, whilst the Archive Alive website has achieved over 20,000 visits, to date, by people from around the globe wanting to view 100s of archive films.

Bernard Hill, narrator of Archive Alive website’s promotional film, said: “Having recently taken the journey through the ‘Archive Alive’ website, I want to say that, not only is it an eye-opener in its extensive content; an example to other websites because of its easy accessibility and very pleasing style; but it’s great fun, too. It’s a great website but I would warn any visitor to it, to leave enough time to explore fully, the cupboards and boxes that open up in front of you, at the click of a mouse. It could become addictive. You have been warned!”

With doors opening at 6:45pm and running until 8pm, a FREE screening event, open to the public, will take place after the evaluation presentation. The programme will feature a range of archive productions narrated by actors John Hurt and Bernard Hill, featuring both amateur and professional films from East Anglia and Upper Normandy. The films are an invaluable part of our heritage and social history as moving image testimonies as to how we lived, worked and played over the last century. Project Manager, Jane Jarvis, will introduce the evening and report briefly on the success of the project including the Vintage Mobile Cinema Tour of the region earlier in the summer and the plans that HEART are developing to continue the work with the archive. To book your FREE seat to see an evening of Archive Alive in Screen 1, please contact the Cinema City Box Office on 0871 902 5724.

Jane says: “This has been a fascinating and very rewarding project which has confirmed a huge public appetite for archive film. Working with the UEA’s East Anglian Film Archive we have been able to bring more of the absolute gems of the archive to the fore and ensure more and more people can enjoy and, more importantly, learn from what these films reveal. The response from all ages has been very encouraging and we are now investigating more ways and funding to keep the archive alive and unlock and showcase even more of these unique records of our past”. For further information on the Digital Heritage Project, and a free education resource DVDs for teachers, please visit www.archivealive.org


Download the Evaluation report.