BRITAIN RECUT – deadline 14 September 2007

Calling All Filmmakers: Your Chance to Recut Britain

Mosaic Films, Channel 4 and the BFI have joined forces to launch BRITAIN RECUT, a groundbreaking nationwide competition for documentary filmmakers, to mark the BFI’s ‘Documentary Centenaries’ celebrations. For the first time in its history, the BFI has made classic documentary footage available to the public to re-edit into their own short films, as part of an online competition which will see four winning films screened on Channel 4’s 3 Minute Wonder strand, and at the Sheffield International Documentary Festival.

Have you ever noticed how history has an uncanny way of repeating itself? Or are you a doomsayer who thinks that society is moving inexorably toward its destruction? Either way, this is your chance to make a statement about the state of Britain today using the films of yesteryear.

The British Film Institute has released over three hours of material from public information films of the 1940’s and 50’s, just so that you can cut it up and put it back together again in your own way.

This innovative new competition uses a very 21st Century tool – the Internet – to make some gems of the 20th Century available to the great British public and its formidable imagination. You can view, cut and re-assemble the footage with a great piece of online software from Channel 4, and then submit your sequence we’ll call it a video treatment – to a competition for Channel 4’s 3 Minute Wonder.

The four winning filmmakers will receive full production support from Mosaic Films to make their film and have it aired on the 3 Minute Wonder strand, as well as at this year’s Sheffield Doc/Fest (7th – 11th November 2007).*

The only restrictions are that your film has to comment on contemporary Britain, and has to be three minutes long. To help you with this, we’ve divided the footage into seven themes:

1. The Role of Women
2. Britishness
3. Health and Nutrition
4. The Environment
5. Leisure Time
6. The Family
7. Work and Industry

We’re looking for ideas that are smart and edgy, and that really play with and extend the possibilities afforded by the material. Your film could be a political polemic, it could be a poetic meditation, or it could be a personal response to the events and people captured in the material. If you are successful, you will be able to add voiceover, sound from other sources, or music, plus you can shoot additional footage if you need to. Maybe you’d like to revisit a location featured in one of the films or shoot an interview or two. Just make sure you include details of this in your proposal and in your script (read our Competition Guidelines for details).

You won’t be judged on the technical quality of your submission, but rather on the idea’s potential and your ability to realise it. The four winning filmmakers will receive a director’s fee and full production support to make their films, including additional shooting if required and the services of a professional editor.

All entries must be received by 5pm on 14th September 2007

For an application pack, see