Britain on Film on Tour

Britain on Film on Tour is a series of archive film programmes for your cinema, film club, museum, archive, or community space. After one of the largest pieces of film preservation and restoration ever undertaken, Britain on Film on Tour reveals new and unseen stories from as early as 1897. Working with the British Film Institute, we are now able to make these extraordinary treasures from the UK’s film archives available to the British public for the first time, with a broad range of material opening up local and regional histories from across the UK.

Britain on Film on Tour brings these rarely-seen films directly to audiences through eight specially-curated film programmes.  The tour offers a unique opportunity to enjoy a diverse range of archive films in a collective and communal viewing experience, with the specific programme themes designed to bring this material alive, encouraging enjoyment and engagement, discussion and debate.

Films in the tour

Britain on Film on Tour features eight thematic programmes:

  • Black Britain, featuring rare, little-seen and valuable depictions of black British life on screen (no longer available for booking)
  • Coast and Sea, a nostalgic collection of films from Britain’s gorgeous, varied coast
  • LGBT Britain, documenting Britain’s inspiring LGBT history on film
  • South Asian Britain on Filmexploring the rich history of the South Asian diaspora in England
  • Protest!, exploring the dynamic history of public activism in the UK (no longer available for booking)
  • Railways, a celebration of Britain’s railway history (no longer available for booking)
  • Rural Life, showing the beauty and variety of Britain’s countryside (no longer available for booking)
  • Welcome to Britain, charting a century of social change via the voices of different generations of British immigrants (no longer available for booking)

Archive film is an exciting way to highlight our social history. The aim of the tour is to ensure these films reach greater, more diverse audiences, where audiences of all ages will have the opportunity to enjoy the film together. This is a great way to start conversations with everyone in your community about our past, present and future.

Between 2007-2010, the ICO delivered the Mediatheque on Tour programmes – eight collections of films which screened at 425 different locations across the UK to just under 36,000 people. Venues ranged from women’s institutes to care homes to full-time cinemas to schools. Britain on Film on Tour has achieved an even greater range of exhibition spaces and audiences, providing a range of added-value activities such as programme notes and free speakers for early bookings, as well as targeted national and regional marketing campaigns for each programme.

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