Windrose online archive film festival

RURAL media charity Windrose is running an online archive film festival, continuing to Wednesday 30th June, a selection of old favourites and new discoveries, at www.windroseruralmedia.org

Thanks to support from Dorset Council, there are four shows available. Windrose director Trevor Bailey says: “One of our greatest joys is to take film shows to live audiences in village halls, theatres, cinemas, arts centres and museums. It is amazing how many people are drawn by these moving images of their county. Because of the pandemic, outreach shows have been impossible for a year. That’s been very sad.  So we thought that, as restrictions begin to lift, we would remind Dorset people of just what a wonderful resource these films of truly local life really are.

“When you have a film archive like ours, you are really custodian of the nearest thing to living history that exists.  The last thing you want is to let it gather dust.  It needs to be seen by local communities.  It is their story.”

James Harrison, who has been putting the online shows together for Windrose, says: “People will find some old favourites from our shows but all the work we’ve been doing recently to digitise the archive means that we have been able to give an outing to a number of films that have not been seen before.”

Over the last three-and-a-half years the charity, which also works in Somerset and Wiltshire collecting archive film and running community projects, has been working steadily to digitise much of the archive and to prepare more of it for public viewing.

The films include, The Coast – Weymouth to Swanage; Blandford’s Coronation celebrations 1937, the Somerset & Dorset Railway in 1960s and a new original print of Iwerne Minster in 1918; Wimborne, including moving the model town in the 1960s; the King’s visit to Sherborne in the 1940s, and Mother Of All Pageants (also available on DVD), the story of the great Sherborne Pageant with the original 1905 film and music, presented by the late Gerald Pitman.

Pictured: Stills from Picnic and Sidney Hill Ploughing.