ulight Studios was asked by Bristol Archive to digitise and restore thirteen films belonging to their British Empire and Commonwealth Collection.
Destined for public screening, each film had been hand selected by Ingrid Sinclair of Afrika Eye Film Festival, as offering the clearest window into what life was like in the colonies during the British Empire.
Much of the film was taken by amateur filmmakers – largely British colonial workers and their families between 1920 and 1960 – and covers a vast range of topics from industry to private parties, local life to ceremonial occasions, and indications of the darker side Empire.
Formats included print, negative and reversal as well as 8mm, 9.5mm and 16mm. Given the wide variety of age, format and provenance, each film needed a different approach in terms of physical repair and cleaning as well as scanning and digital restoration.
The restored films we’re shown in a series of screenings with musical accompaniment in and around Bristol.