BW 2/35 - ' Joint Committee on Films: Minutes 1936-1938'

Relevant Films: -

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[SC 14/12/11]

“The British Council
Draft record of an informal meeting with the Representatives of the Travel Association, at 32, Chesham Place, on 8.4.36
Travel Association:
Rt. Honble. Douglas Hacking, O.B.E. (Vice President)
Mr. Dines (in place of Isidoro Salmon)
Mr. Meredith (General Manager)
Mr. Noble Hall (in charge Paris Office of the Association)
British Council:
Lord Riverdale (Vice Chairman)
Mr. Phillip Guedalla
Mr. R.A. Leeper (Foreign Office)
Mr. Ernest Makower
Mr. A. Mullins (Department of Overseas Trade)

Lt. Colonel Charles Bridge (Secretary-General)

(Lord Tyrrell was prevented by illness from attending and Sir John Power was abroad)

The Council are not concerned with the production of Documentary Films, such as those made by the Travel Association Film Unit.There is however much to be done to stimulate the distribution abroad of all types of British Films - ‘Documentary’ - ‘Entertainment’ and ‘News Reels’. The dearth of the latter has formed the subject of numerous complaints from His Majesty’s Diplomatic Missions.”

Meeting 08/07/36
John Grierson ‘of the G.P.O. Film Productions’ and a representative from the British Film Institute to be invited to join. Grierson accepts, and the BFI nominates General Manager Oliver Bell.

Meeting 23/03/37
Consider using the Hindenburg to transport coronation film across the Atlantic. Aren’t keen on the fact it’s German airship.
[Hindenburg Disaster occurs on May 6th, less than two months later.]

Agree that TIDA should provide the secretariat for the JC.

Report of Enquiry into the Non-Theatrical Distribution of Industrial Films Abroad [p]

Meeting 01/10/37
Discussion on territorial distribution.
Council agrees to fund distribution costs again.

Primrose to Bridge, 28/10/37
“You will recall that the Council placed at the disposal of the Joint Committee a sum of £1200, in respect of (1) the Mediterranean Area £300, (2) South America £500, (3) other countries, £400.
As you will have gathered from the Meeting of the Joint Committee on 1st October last, a good deal of progress has been made, which has meant a good deal of expense. We should therefore be glad to have a cheque on account for half the amount, viz., £600, unless you would prefer to pay the whole at once.”
[paid £600]

04/38 - TIDA Report on the Distribution of Films in the British Empire

- 05/38 - Full report on TIDA’s distribution efforts worldwide, including both JC-sponsored distribution and their own.

06/38 Meeting
There is no longer a GPO representative on the JC, resolve to invite a new one.

“5. Navy Film
The Chairman referred to the Navy Film with the Travel Association had produced. He understood the difficulties over payment had been settled. Colonel Bridge said that the money had now been paid to the Travel Association out of the Joint Committee’s allocation for films.
Mr Primrose said that the title ‘White Ensign’ on the copy despatched to Egypt would have to be changed as it was found that there was already a film called ‘White Ensign’, and further, that it would not translate into foreign languages. The committee agreed. After some discussion it was decided that ‘The British Navy’ would be a suitable title*.”

*[This is annotated with the word ‘NO’.]

BC and Near East Committee funding the JC.