14-18 NOW and Imperial War Museums Present The World Premiere Of Acclaimed Filmmaker Peter Jackson’s First World War Film
• Includes never-before-seen First World War archival footage restored with the finest digital technology: in full 3D, hand-colourised, and with original audio
• Accompanied by learning resources that will reach all secondary schools in the UK
• Broadcast premiere on BBC One for Armistice 2018
14-18 NOW, the UK’s official arts programme for the First World War centenary, and Imperial War Museums have commissioned internationally acclaimed filmmaker Peter Jackson – of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit fame – to create a new film about the First World War. The new work has been created exclusively with original, archive footage from the Imperial War Museums’ film archive and audio from the BBC archives. The film will be broadcast on BBC One following a UK-wide premiere as part of the BFI London Film Festival in 2018. The BBC will accompany the film with a ‘making-of’ documentary with behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with Peter Jackson and an in-depth look at the creative and technical process behind the work.
Peter Jackson said “I’ve always been fascinated by the First World War due to my own family history and the Centenary felt like a unique opportunity to make a personal contribution to the commemoration. I wanted to find a way to bring new life to the stories of ordinary people living through extraordinary times.”
The Academy Award-winning director spent months immersed in Imperial War Museums’ original First World War footage and BBC audio to discover stories and perspectives on the war never-before presented to the public, and has brought them to life using the techniques he has become famous for. Each frame of the film has been hand-colourised, 3D-digitised, and restored with modern production techniques so that it is as impactful today as it would have been when originally presented in cinemas to a wartime audience during the First World War.
The careful treatment and restoration of the original footage has resulted in a unique film, bringing back to life the stories that were captured in moving footage a century ago. The film will also feature original audio sourced from the BBC archives, giving audiences a chance to hear from the people who experienced the First World War, telling their stories in their own words.
Young people form a central part of the film’s distribution with learning resources that will reach all secondary schools in the UK. A copy of the film will be given to every secondary school for the 2018 Autumn term. The programme will also include curriculum-linked learning materials presented with TES (Times Educational Supplement), and the film will feature in the Into Film Festival which takes place in the lead-up to 11 November 2018. The film has been produced by WingNut Films in New Zealand, who are world-renowned for their innovative work on The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and King Kong, and is Executive Produced by BAFTA Award-winner Tessa Ross at House Productions. Trafalgar Releasing will be coordinating a simultaneous screening of the film in cinemas around the UK to coincide with the UK premiere.
Jenny Waldman, Director of 14-18 NOW, said “When Peter and I first met, he said he wanted to create a piece of film that would bring the experience of the First World War to life for young people today, which is precisely our focus in this last season of 14-18 NOW. We are delighted to be working with such an exceptional filmmaker on this ground-breaking production and visionary resource that will enable all secondary school students in the country to see the film.”
Diane Lees, Director-General of Imperial War Museums, said “After many years of swapping ideas with Peter Jackson, IWM are delighted to now be working with him on this extraordinary film to mark the centenary of Armistice in 2018. Through this unique production, Peter will reinterpret IWM’s rich First World War film archive to create an exceptional film which will be shared with audiences across the UK. This innovative new production will bring to life the stories of those who lived, fought and died during the First World War as well as revealing never-before-seen footage from IWM’s film archive from more than 100 years ago.”
Charlotte Moore, Director BBC Content, said “The culmination of the BBC’s ambitious four years of programming to mark the World War One centenary is being honoured on BBC One with the world premiere of a very special film from the highly acclaimed Peter Jackson that will bring unheard voices from a hundred years ago to life for a whole new generation to experience.”
14-18 NOW is funded by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England, and by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. 14-18 NOW is an independent programme hosted within Imperial War Museums.
14-18 NOW would like to acknowledge its partnership with the BBC on projects in the 2018 season.
Co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW and the Imperial War Museums. Special thanks to Matthew & Sian Westerman with additional support from The Taylor Family Foundation, The Moondance Foundation, British Council, Jacqueline & Richard Worswick and one anonymous donor. With support from the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.
Details of the full programme here
Further information on IWM and its 2018 season of programming, Making a New World, here
Peter Jackson Video Message
The following video message from Peter Jackson was played at the launch and is available to you for online use. Please note the footage shown in the video has been restored, but not hand-colourised or processed for 3D. We would be grateful if you could mention this alongside use of the video. Credit: 14-18 NOW/IWM
Peter Jackson’s most highly acclaimed cinematic achievement is considered to be his screen adaptation of J.R.R Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. The project kicked off in 1999 with Jackson not only directing the films but co-writing and producing with long time collaborators Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens. “The Lord of the Rings” films earned a total of 30 Academy Award nominations, and won 17 including Best Picture for the final film.
In 2010, Jackson plunged back into Middle-earth directing, co-writing and producing a further trilogy of films based around the enduring popular masterpiece novel “The Hobbit”, penned by J.R.R. Tolkien. Each film earned around a billion dollars at the box office worldwide and the trilogy gathered a total of seven Academy Award nominations. Between trilogies, Jackson fulfilled a childhood dream helming a remake of “King Kong”. The films picked up three Academy Awards and a BAFTA. An adaptation of Alice Sebold’s acclaimed best-selling book “The Lovely Bones” followed, and was released in 2010. Stanley Tucci was nominated for a supporting actor Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA for his supporting actor role in the film.
Jackson produced, along with Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, “The Adventures of Tintin”, which was also directed by Spielberg. Between trilogies, Jackson also produced science fiction thriller “District 9” as well as co-producing documentary “West of Memphis” with Damien Echols, one of the teenagers falsely accused of the murder featured in the film.
Jackson’s passion for filmmaking started early in life. His first feature film “Bad Taste” was made during the weekends with friends taking nearly four years to be completed. “Meet the Feebles” followed, starting a long-time collaboration with physical effects guru Richard Taylor.
“Heavenly Creatures” launched Jackson onto the worldwide stage featuring a young Kate Winslet. For this film, Jackson and lifetime partner Fran Walsh received their first Academy Award nomination for screenwriting. Michael J Fox starred in Jackson’s next feature ghost comedy “The Frighteners” which was executive produced by “Forrest Gump”’s Robert Zemeckis.
In 2010 Jackson received a knighthood for his services to film.
14-18 NOW is a programme of extraordinary arts experiences connecting people with the First World War, as part of the UK’s official centenary commemorations. It commissions new work by leading contemporary artists across all art forms; the programme has included over 200 artists from 35 countries, with commissions taking place in 160 locations across the UK. Over 30 million people have experienced a project so far, including 7.5 million children and young people. 16.7million people took part in LIGHTS OUT in 2014, and 63% of the population were aware of Jeremy Deller’s 2016 work ‘We’re here because we’re here’. The UK tour of the iconic poppy sculptures by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper have been seen by over 3.5 million people to date. 14-18 NOW has won many awards for its work, including the National Lottery Heritage Award 2017, a Museums Heritage Award and the Chairman’s Award at The Drum Social Buzz Awards 2016. It is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England, by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and by additional fundraising.
IWM (Imperial War Museums) tells the story of people who have lived, fought and died in conflicts involving Britain and the Commonwealth since the First World War. Our unique collections, made up of the everyday and the exceptional, reveal stories of people, places, ideas and events. Using these, we tell vivid personal stories and create powerful physical experiences across our five museums that reflect the realities of war as both a destructive and creative force. We challenge people to look at conflict from different perspectives, enriching their understanding of the causes, course and consequences of war and its impact on people’s lives. IWM’s five branches which attract over 2 million visitors each year are IWM London, IWM’s flagship branch that transformed in 2014 with new, permanent and free First World War Galleries alongside new displays across the iconic Atrium to mark the Centenary of the First World War; IWM North, housed in an iconic award-winning building designed by Daniel Libeskind; IWM Duxford, a world renowned aviation museum and Britain's best preserved wartime airfield; Churchill War Rooms, housed in Churchill’s secret headquarters below Whitehall; and the Second World War cruiser HMS Belfast.
IWM and Film
IWM has managed a Film Archive from its very beginnings as an institution, and the film collection now covers all aspects of conflicts in which British, Commonwealth or former Empire countries have been involved since the start of the twentieth century. Our constantly growing collection now extends to over 23,000 hours of moving images, representing a wide and diverse range of material from public and service information films, documentaries and unedited combat film, through to official newsreels and amateur films. Highlights of the collection include the original 1916 record of The Battle of the Somme (now granted UNESCO Memory of the World status), Academy Award-winning documentaries Target for Tonight (1941) and The True Glory (1945), the former library of NATO, UNTV Zagreb newsreels and library, and most recently, digital born material of operations in Afghanistan. There is also a significant collection of amateur film – much of it in colour – covering wide areas of the former British Empire, the Second World War, India and beyond.
BBC – Year of History
This year the BBC marks 100 years since 1918, a seismic year in the history of Britain and the world. Over the course of just 12 months, propertied women over the age of 30 were given the right to vote for the very first time, the Armistice was signed bringing World War One to a close, the RAF was formed and Spanish Flu, swept across the world. A century on, as a culmination of the BBC’s ambitious four years of programming for the World War One centenary, the BBC will mark this major turning point with a with a landmark Year of History across television, radio and online, collaborating with 14-18 NOW on major projects and with partners Imperial War Museums, Arts and Humanities Research Council, Wellcome Trust and others across the UK. Through live events, presenter-lead series, testimony-driven documentaries, digital content and a range of collaborations, the programming will explore the political, cultural and social shifts which would set the agenda for the next 100 years and shape the world as we know it today.
Into Film puts film at the heart of children and young people’s educational, cultural and personal development. Over half of UK schools engage with our programme of Into Film Clubs, special cinema screenings, and resources and training to support classroom teaching. Alongside rich online content for young audiences, this provides 5-19 year olds with inspiring opportunities to learn about and make film, and develop a passion for cinema. Into Film runs two flagship annual events. The Into Film Festival enables over 400,000 children and young people to access the cinema for free. Our Into Film Awards celebrate
the filmmaking and learning achievements of pupils from across the UK. Our mission is to inspire dynamic ways of learning with film and connecting with cinema that reach the widest possible young audience across the UK. Our vision is that film is at the heart of every child and young person’s life and learning. Into Film is a not-for-profit organisation supported principally by the BFI (through the
National Lottery), Cinema First and Northern Ireland Screen.
The BFI London Film Festival
BFI London Film Festival is Britain's leading film event and one of the world's best film festivals. It introduces the finest new British and international films to an expanding London and UK-wide audience and attracts significant international film industry participation. LFF is a compelling combination of diverse films, red carpet glamour, friendly audiences and vibrant exchange. LFF provides an essential profiling opportunity for films seeking global success; promotes the careers of British and international filmmakers through its industry and awards programmes and positions London as the world’s leading creative city.
First World War Centenary Partnership
2014 – 2018 marks the centenary of the First World War, a landmark anniversary for Britain and the world. IWM is marking the centenary by leading a vibrant, five-year programme of cultural activities across the world. IWM will be announcing its programme to mark the anniversary later this year.