A film about the liberation of the Nazi death camps won prizes at last night’s FOCAL International’s Gala Awards Ceremony, which honour the use of footage in productions.
André Singer’s documentary Night Will Fall scooped two wins from the three final nominations it received – in the categories Best Use of Footage in a History Production and in a Cinema Production.
Using remarkable archive footage and testimony from both survivors and liberators, Night Will Fall (Spring Films, Angel TV, Cinephil) tells of the efforts made to document the almost unbelievable scenes that the Allies encountered on liberation. The film explores how a team of top filmmakers, including Sidney Bernstein, Richard Crossman and Alfred Hitchcock, came together to make a film to provide undeniable evidence of what the Allies found, but the film was stopped in its tracks by the British Government and only now 70 years on, has it been completed.
The Imperial War Museums work in restoring, preserving and completing the work that Sidney Bernstein started on the German Concentration Camps Factual Survey was congratulated with a surprise Special Award for this work.
Rare archival footage
Night Will Fall also features clips from Bridgeman Footage’s Buff Films collection, including a rare interview with Mike Lewis, a cameraman who filmed the liberation.
Mike Lewis talks of filming in the Belsen Concentration Camp / Buff Film & Video Library / Bridgeman Footage
The Focal awards honour producers, filmmakers and other creative professionals who have used library footage in a documentary, feature film or any other form of production as well as those who preserve and restore content. Focal’s international jury sifted through 265 submissions from 24 countries to select the winners. The ceremony was hosted by war correspondent Kate Adie OBE.