Here is the shortlist for our 2020’s Arts Production category, recognising uses of archival footage in productions encompassing documentaries, docudramas or fiction that feature arts and cultural subjects. For example, productions might be on literature, visual arts, the history of film & TV or they might be biographies of artists, writers and entertainers. Entries may also be impressionistic in style and use footage in creative ways.
Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché
Director: Pamela B. Green
Archive Researcher(s): Pamela B. Green, Cosima Littlewood, Joan Simon, Daniela Roth and Christine Leteux
Archival Sources: Swedish Film Institute, Library of Congress, Lobster Films, EYE Film Institute, Gaumont-Pathé Archives
Production Company: Be Natural Productions
Country of Production: United States, United Kingdom
Synopsis: When Alice Guy-Blaché completed her first film in 1896 Paris, she was not only the first female filmmaker, but one of the first directors ever to make a narrative film. Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché follows her rise from Gaumont secretary to her appointment as head of production in 1897, and her subsequent illustrious 20-year career in France and in the United States.
Archival highlights: A film that was instrumental in increasing the profile of its subject by contributing to the ongoing discoveries of her work by finding 15 films prior thought lost and incorporating them into the film itself.
Sid & Judy
Director: Stephen Kijak
Archive Researcher(s): Adele Sparks
Archival Sources: The Sid Luft Trust (managed by Pacific Title Archives), The Private Collection of Michael Siewert, MPTV Images, The Richard Avedon Estate, Reelin’ in the Years
Production Company: Passion Pictures
Country of Production: United Kingdom, United States
Synopsis: Sid & Judy tells the story of the greatest second-chapter in American history: Judy Garland’s phoenix-like rise from the ashes to the absolute heights of fame, driven by her great and turbulent love affair with Sid Luft, her third husband, who managed her through triumphant highs and crushing lows, during the course of their 13-year marriage and beyond. It is the story of how The Star became The Legend.
Archival Highlights: The production team unearthed a range of unpublished materials concerning Judy Garland, including production stills from A Star is Born and had access to thousands of items in the Sid Luft Trust archive.
Director: Frédéric Tcheng
Archive Researcher(s): Paul Dallas
Archival Sources: NBC, Halston Real LLC, Lesley Frowick, Videofashion, Anton Perich
Production Company: CNN Films, Dogwoof Pictures, TDog, Possibility Entertainment, Sharp House, Gloss Studio
Country of Production: United States
Synopsis: From Iowa to Studio 54 to Wall Street, Halston lived an American dream. Prodigiously talented, he reigned over fashion in the 1970s, becoming a household name. But everything changed in the Wall Street era. With his empire under threat, Halston takes the biggest gamble of his life.
Archival Highlights: Amongst a treasure trove of material from the Halston company archives, this biopic concerning the fashion icon also utilises the raw tapes from a never-aired NBC documentary about Halston’s business in China.