A FILM SCHOOL IN A BOX PROJECT
Arctic Convoys for a new generation
With support from Heritage Lottery Fund and in collaboration with the Cambridge Russian Speak Society, the IFT worked with young people and veterans to produce an intergenerational documentary project that looks back in time at the Arctic Convoys to better understand concepts of diplomacy, democracy and armed combat. The result was five short films that were screened at the Picturehouse Cinema in Cambridge to a public audience.
Phase 1: Research
The participants started the project by researching at the Arctic Convoys at the HMS Belfast in London, one of the ships to make the trip from the UK to to Russia during WWII; and at the Churchill archives where a number of documents, books and photographs exist from that era. The participants were able to work with historians and archivists in each site to wok through memos, top secret telegrams, shipping registers and photogrpahs as well as all of the information available aboard the HMS Belfast. From these trips, the participants established a series of questions to ask the veterans when they met them two weeks later.
Phase 2: Production
The participants filmed over two hours of interview footage with five surviving veterans from the Arctic Convoys. Ernest Kennedy, Dianne Pitts (wife of Jimmy Pitts), Stanley Ballard, Baden Hall and Admiral Bob Stephens met with 12 young people at Cambridge University to speak about their experiences of sailing the convoys, diplomacy, heritage and more. The interviews were then prepared for editing into films.
Phase 3: Post Production
The films were edited at the Junction in Cambridge. Over the course of 10 days, the participants conbined original interview with archive footage, illustration, animation and photography to produce fiver films each focusing on a different aspect of the convoys that was particularly meaningful to the filmmakers.
The films were screened to a public audience at the Picturehouse Cinema in Cambridge followed by a Q&A with the veterans and the young filmmakers. The audience was response was amazing. People called the films “an enormous achievement”, “so moving”, “a brilliant insight into a lesser known part of history” and “a fantastic experience that more people should see.” Check out the films for yourself below and let us know what you think!
The Arctic Convoys delivered over four million tons of supplies to the Russians after they had been attacked by Nazi Germany. But, who sailed the convoys? What kind of impact did the journey have on the crew? And what were they taking to Russia? Find out by watching this film by Sasha and Anton.