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Hollywood director George Stevens filmed WW2 in colour using a home movie camera. The films were not discovered till after his death but show another side of the great conflict.
Seventy-five years ago, Hollywood director George Stevens stood on the deck of the HMS Belfast to film the start of the D-Day invasion, 6th June 1944. He had volunteered to join up and been put in charge of a combat motion-picture unit.
The resulting black-and-white films — following Allied troops through Normandy, the liberation of Paris, Battle of the Bulge, the horror of the Dachau concentration camp — form the basis of Americans’ historical memory of World War II, and were even used as evidence in Nazi war crimes trials.
But the director was also shooting 16-millimetre colour film for himself of the same events, creating a kind of personal video journal of his experiences.
As veterans and world leaders prepare to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day next week, Stevens’ surprising colour films bring an immediacy to wartime memories, a powerful reminder of the war’s impact and its participants as those who witnessed the war are dying out.
“You’ve seen it in black and white. And when you see it in colour, all of a sudden it feels like today,” his son George Stevens Jr. said in an interview. “It doesn’t seem like yesterday. And it has a much more modern and authentic feeling to it.”
George Stevens Jr., now 87, was a child when his father left to cover the war. Only after George Steven’s death, decades later, did he discover reels of the colour film in storage. He was stunned that it was not footage of family events, but grey ships in the sea – D-Day.
Stevens Jr., a writer, director and founder of the American Film Institute, later made a documentary with the footage, “George Stevens: D-Day to Berlin.”
D-Day 75th Anniversary Aerials from HOsiHO
On the June 6th anniversary, there will be commemoration ceremonies in the presence of worldwide heads of state, and the French aerial footage specialist will be able to provide stills and footage of the area where the Allies invaded in 1944.
Red! Art in the Land of Soviets
INA and co-producer Arte just released a 52’ documentary that sheds light on the Russian artistic revolution. This film documents the rising of new artistic movements inspired and formed by the Revolution.
New Footage Library – Progress
East Germany the country is no more, but its films live on. Progress is a German archive of the complete film heritage of East Germany from 1946-1990. See the world from the other side of the Iron Curtain.
Tomorrow is The Day – footageMarketplace
The annual get-together of footage professionals is tomorrow Wednesday 15th May. A not-to-be-missed event with over 30 footage libraries and organisations exhibiting and excellent seminars to attend.
footageMarketplace Rolls Out This Week
Wednesday 15th May is the day, 195 Piccadilly (home of BAFTA) the place to meet the best in the footage industry and network with fellow professionals and attend the cutting-edge seminars.
Historic Films Hails Two New Libraries!
The US historic content supplier has acquired new material from two interesting and unusual sources: Alternate Beat TV, with interviews with punk and rock musicians from the 1980s, and Kent State 1970 – student 8mm footage of the violent protests that resulted in the deaths of four young people.
Meet Huntley Film Archives in May at footageMarketplace
Huntley Film Archives is a documentary footage library with a collection of over 80,000 films spanning a century of worldwide historic and social change. Their collection includes some of the earliest films from the 1880s up to more recent events of the 1980s and you can meet them in person at footageMarketplace on 15th May.
Find Out More About footageMarketplace’s Seminars
Nine outstanding speakers are coming to footageMarketplace on 15th May to inform, educate and give you insights into their specialist area of the footage industry. These seminars are free, but last year were standing-room only, so you need to get there early.
LOLA Clips Flies with Eagle Vision
LOLA Clips has now added a huge catalogue into its rapidly growing slate of partnerships like ITV GE and STUDIOCANAL with EagleVision. They are a leading producer and distributor of music based documentaries and high quality live concerts, covering all genres through Jazz, Blues and Soul to Pop and Rock.
First Set of FOCAL Award Nominations Announced
FOCAL International now unveils its first set of nominations for the 16th FOCAL Awards: the world’s only major awards competition dedicated to the promotion and celebration of archival footage and its contribution to the creative and cultural industries.
NaturePL Swoops into footageMarketplace on 15th May
Come and meet the nature specialists at footageMarketplace in London on May 15th and find out more about their growing video offering. footageMarketplace is the best annual event to network, communicate and deal face to face with industry players.
Meet IWM Film at footageMarketplace
One of the premier footage libraries exhibiting on 15th May at footageMarketplace will be IWM Film, showcasing their immense collection of conflict-related material, particularly of the First and Second World Wars.