BW 2/216 - 'Films. General Principles.'

Relevant Films: -



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[SM 9/3/12]

NEWSREEL BRITISH NEWS

- Newsreel distributed first to New York Fair, then Colonies & Far East.
- Although initially intended for New York World Fair, they actually continued past the original 20 ordered.
- During World Fair, the costs were taken from Department of oversea trade. Post World Fair Council would pay themselves.
- Issue with copyright & showing in America: many of the British Newsreel companies were subsidies of larger American film companies. Certain shots such as Henry Ford etc would belong to American companies. However, royalties didn't need to be paid at technically the Council's tent/building at the world fair was considered British embassy territory ie British soil.


[HM 14/12/2011]

Photos taken of first pages...

NEW PRODUCTION

List of films commissioned by the council (photos taken)

Atlantic on the list

-? One listed as subject: Sport; company: Pathé; notes: Made to meet the requests for film showing British leadership in sport.
- further down on page 5: “A film produced by the assembly of existing material and a few new shots (as in the case of the Pathé film on Sport mentioned above)”

-? subject: National Resources; company: Realist Films through British Commercial Gas Association; notes: By-products of coal - Export

Page 5 interesting points:

“If it be asked what is the justification for distributing abroad British films which do not specifically or solely illustrate the war effort, the reply is:-

They show what is meant when it is said that Great Britain is fighting for her life and what she holds dear.
They continue to provide and demonstrate overseas that basis of sympathetic understanding, without which direct political propaganda falls upon deaf ears.
Direct propaganda is likely to be more effective when it is mingled with less controversial matter which is more welcome to audiences overseas.
Enemy countries pursue the same course with success on a far larger scale than we.”

Bottom of page 5 also notes that it should not be forgotten that the British films are in competition with enemy film propaganda “which employs the most modern and expensive technique, of a magnitude and on a scale of cost far exceeding anything which this country has ever contemplated.”

The total amount allocated to new production in the Council’s grant for 1940/41 is £25,000.


/ Page 6

Discusses distribution and distribution charges.

Theatrical Exhibition:

1939/40 (Financial year) - copies of over 100 hundred films distributed to 89 foreign countries, Dominions and Colonies.

Sept 1939 – Jul 1940 - estimated 1,000 have been distributed.

American and German films were distributed for free. Document discusses the ways in which the Council should decide upon what to charge and when films should be distributed for free.

/ Page 7

point (d): The Council used a (unnamed) ‘intermediary’ for distributing films abroad with commercial feature films. “It is possible in many cases to disguise the fact that the Council’s films come from a source which might be regarded with distaste by the foreign distributors as propagandist.”

Non-theatrical Exhibition:

106 sources of distribution.
Since 1939 (until when not specified) 766 copies of films distributed to 53 countries, Dominions and Colonies.

Audiences:

States that viewing figures are difficult to obtain but that the Council secures “considerably better overseas distribution than any other documentary films produced in this country.”

‘So this is London’ distributed to Sweden with a Swedish commentary with the feature film “Nell Gwynne”, was seen by 400,000 people.

/ Pages 8-9:

excerpts of correspondence between M.O.I’s Sir Kenneth Clarke and BC’s Mr. Guedalla agreeing the terms of the Council’s film activities during the war.

Mentions the New York world fair - the only outlet for British Films in America during the war.

The council does seem to have been sponsoring films before the war. And emphasis is put on ‘British News’ as being one of the most important elements in British propaganda abroad.

  • * * * * * * * * *

REPORT ON CINEMA DISTRIBUTION

930 Films have been distributed to 89 countires.

EUROPE

COUNTRY
DISTRIBUTOR
Belgium
Algemeen Vrachtkantoor, N.V. Brussels.
Atlas Films, Brussels.
United Artists, Brussels.
Bulgaria
Atlas Films, Sofia.
Pomiro Films, Sofia.
Denmark
Teatrenes Films Kontor, Copenhagen.
Estonia
Aktsiaselts Estofilm, Tallin.
Finland
Suomi Filmi O.Y., Helsinki.
France and French Colonies
Les Films Regent, Paris.
Ernest Wettstein, Paris.
Greece
Skouras Films, Athens.
Holland
Nova Films, Amsterdam.
Hungary
Magyar Films Iroda, Budapest.
Iceland
H.F. Nyja Bio, Reykjavik.
Italy, Italian Colonies and Albania
L.U.C.E., Rome.
Norway
Kommunenes Films Central A/S, Oslo.
Europa Films, Oslo.
Rumania
Films Teo, Bucharest.
Spain
British Films Distributors.
Don José Campúa, News Cinemas.
Sweden
Svea Films, Stockholm.
Svenska Filmindustri, Stockholm.
Wivefiolm, Stockholm.
Switzerland
Ernest Wettstein, Paris.
Schweizer Schul und Volkskino, Berne.
Yugoslavia
Zora, Zagreb.
U.S.S.R.
Soyusinporgkino, Moscow.

MEDITERRANEAN & NEAR EAST

COUNTRY
DISTRIBUTOR
Aden

Cyprus

Egypt

Gibraltar

Iran

Iraq

Malta

Palestine

Sudan

Syria

Turkey


AFRICA

Algeria

Belgian Congo

French Solaliland

Gold Cost (sic?)

Kenya

Madagascar

Mauritius

Morocco French

Morocco Spanish

Nigera

Portuguese East Africa

Portuguese West Africa

Sierra Leone

South West Africa

Tanganyika

Tunisia

Uganda

Union of South Africa

Zanzibar


INDIA

COUNTRY
DISTRIBUTOR
Burma
British Film Distributors.
Home and Defence Departments, Rangoon.
Ceylon
British Film Distributors.
India
British Film Distributors.
Home Department, Gov. of India, Delhi.
Nepal
Government of India.

FAR EAST

China

Dutch East Indies

Japan

Kedah (Unfederated Malay States


AUSTRALASIA

Australia

New Zealand


SOUTH AMERICA

COUNTRY
DISTRIBUTOR
Argentina

Brazil

Chile

Peru

Uruguay


WEST INDIES

Jamaica


CANADA

Canada

Newfoundland


STEAM SHIP COMPANIERS

Union Castle
Cunard White Star


25th April, 1940.

  • * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

REPORT ON NON-THEATRICAL DISTRIBUTION

766 Films distributed to 53 countries.

EUROPE
Belgium
Bulgaria
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Greece
Holland
Hungary
Iceland
Italty
Latvia
Norway
Portugal
Rumania
Sweden
Switzerland
Yugoslavia

MEDITERRANEAN AND NEAR EAST
Aden
Afghanistan
Cyprus
Egypt
Gibraltar
Iran
Malta
Palestine
Turkey

AFRICA
African Colonies
Gambia
Gold Coast
Morocco (French)
Tangier
Tunisia
Uganda
Union of South Africa

FAR EAST
China(Shanghai & Hong Kong)
Dutch East Indies
Federated Malay States
Indo China
Japan & Japanese Empire
Philippines
Siam

AUSTRALASIA
Australia
Fiji
New Guinea
New Zealand

SOUTH AMERICA
Argentina
Bolivia
Brazil
Chile
Colombia
Ecuador
Paraguay
Peru
Uruguay
Falkland Islands

CENTRAL AMERICA
British Honduras
British Guiana
Costa Rica
Cuba
Haiti
Honduras
Mexico
Panama

CANADA
Canada
Newfoundland

WEST INDIES
Bahamas
Bermuda
Barbados
Jamaica
Leeward Isles
Trinidad
Windward Isles

25th April, 1940.

  • * * * * * *

Documents relating to the proposal of sending British News to Latin America.
Costs of British News at the World Fair in New York.



  • * * *

Draft letter from the Secretary- General to Sir John Pratt at MOI dated 14th March, 1940 states that the films are now entirely dealt with by the British Council and not theJoint Committee.

Also Primrose is worried that unless top class production begins on new films, the current distribution of the older pre-war films will dwindle out rather fast.

Many letters from March 1940 arranging meetings to discuss the problems of short film production.

  • * * * *

19th jan 1940
Committe of Films for overseas Publicitiy
(photos taken)

Discusses MOI and BC credits not being given to films and use TIDA as an example.
‘Travel Association’ had been kept in being and could operate instead of the British Council.

Lots of stuff about difficulties showing films in US and why.

  • * * *

Big letter from Primrose about BC / MOI and mentioning the war.