British photographic history

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Last year Britain on Film took a closer look at rural life across the UK, today the BFI announces Britain on Film: Coast and Sea, an online collection of over 600 newly digitised films, ranging from 1898 to 2000, from the BFI National Archive and the UK’s national and regional film and TV archives, spanning the whole of the UK, available (mostly) for free on BFI Player via an interactive map.

As we enter the summer holiday season, find inspiration here with over 160 films that paint a vivid portrait of the quintessential British holiday. Coast and Sea highlights include Playing on Beach (1903, BFI), Netting The Tide (1978, North West Film Archive at Manchester Metropolitan University), Rohilla Wrecked off Whitby (1914, BFI), The Homecoming (1967, South West Film and Television Archive), Cargo for Ardrossan (1939, BFI) and Private Life of the Gannets (1934, BFI).

Since Britain on Film’s launch, over 30 million people have accessed their country’s film heritage through BFI Player and social media channels. With this new collection over 7,500 films can now be seen online – 97% of which are free. By 2018, thanks to National Lottery funding and the support of the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, 10,000 film and TV titles from 1895 to the present day will be newly digitised and available to view.

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