2020 History Production

Here is the shortlist for our 2020’s History Production category, recognising uses of archival footage in history-focused films and programmes. This includes documentaries or docudramas dealing with historical issues, events or people. Productions may be up to a maximum of 60 minutes in length or per each episode.

France 1939: One Last Summer

Director: Ruth Zylberman
Archive Researcher(s): Marie Hélène Barberis
Archival Sources: Archipop, Atelier des Archives, Cinémathèque de Bretagne, Lobster, Pathé
Production Company: Zadig Productions
Country of Production: France

Synopsis: Summer 1939 was a threshold where the feeling of being threatened was competing with a will to live. Like every year, amateurs recorded glimpses of happiness on their 8mm or 16mm cameras. How were these last weeks perceived and lived in by families across France? These extraordinary images bring the past back with all the strength of those sensations that were once the present.

FOCAL Points: Sourced from multiple French cinemathèques, this production provides a different vantage point on the approach of World War II by drawing from French home movies shot during the summer of 1939

Lost Home Movies of Nazi Germany

Director: Nick Watts, Martin Davidson
Archive Researcher(s): Dorothee Schneider
Archival Sources: AKH Agent Karl Hoefkes, Castan Fotokontor, US Holocaust Museum, Helmut Machemer Collection, Footage Farm
Production Company: Bright Button Productions Ltd
Country of Production: United Kingdom

Synopsis: Thousands of German attics have become dumping grounds for countless hours of private home movies, left gathering dust for decades. Hidden on these rolls of film is a different story of Hitler’s Third Reich; a private window into the inner most recesses of life in the Nazi Germany. What emerges is a candid look at what life was really like for those living in, and under Hitler’s rule.

Archival Highlights: Another home movie centred film in this year’s competition, this production provides historical and personal reflection on the war period in Germany. The wide adoption of home movie cameras in Germany provides a wide variety of available footage of life there during wartime.


Director: Karim Miské, Marc Ball
Archive Researcher(s): Marie-Hélène Barbéris, Marie Corberand, Eve Feuilloy
Archival Sources: British Pathé, AP, Getty, Cinematek of Belgium, Gaumont Pathé
Production Company: Program33
Country of Production: France, Belgium, Senegal

Synopsis: A story of how the fall of European empires after the Berlin Conference in 1885 would give birth to a new world: ours. In India, in South-East Asia, in both North and Sub-Saharan Africa, in the Middle East and even in Europe itself, it was becoming clear just what colonialism involved, and many people – including servicemen, diplomats, artists and writers – started working to overthrow its domination. In three episodes, the Decolonisation series traces its story through the many faces of the great global shift that has shaped our contemporary world.

Archival Highlights: This 3 part program draws material from 49 archival films and 13 fiction films, with footage from archives in Vietnam, India, Kenya, Senegal & more. It also features rare footage of Frantz Fanon at the hospital in Blida.