British Pathé Archive Award 2021

Sponsored by British Pathé, endowed with material supply worth 15,000 euros or 2,500 euros in cash

© British Pathé Ltd.

The British Pathé Archive Award honours outstanding archive and compilation film projects. High-quality archive footage is often invaluable for documentaries. The use of historical or commercial film excerpts on a larger scale, however, increases the required production budget substantially. With the Archive Award, British Pathé and aim at promoting projects utilising licensed material and thus strengthening this traditional documentary genre.

Among all submissions for the Archive Award, 5 projects will be presented to a jury of five during a live pitching at the Marketplace. The winning project will receive British Pathé archive material worth 15,000 euros, alternatively 2,500 euros can be paid out in cash.


Prize sponsor: British Pathé

British Pathé is considered to be the finest newsreel archive in the world. Now also representing the Reuters Historical Collection, it has become a one-stop archive for the story of the 20th century. This treasure trove of 220,000 films, unrivalled in their historical and cultural significance, is used extensively by broadcasters, production companies, corporations and museums, among many others.


Award winners 2020: QUEEN OF CHESS of Bernadett Tuza-Ritter, Gabor Harmi, Zsofi Lili Kovacs

It tells the largely forgotten story of the Hungarian Judith Polgar, who became famous as a young girl in the male domain of chess competitions. Historical footage leading into late communist Hungary is linked with home movies from the private archives of the Polgar family as well as television reports on the competitions with the world chess champions of her time, especially Garri Kasparov. The result is an intimate portrait of an unusual young woman and at the same time a journey through time into a period of historical upheaval.

From the jury's statement: "The jury was particularly impressed by the clever and virtuoso handling of the versatile archive material. The historical and largely unknown film footage represents a fundamental narrative level here. The jury also finds it promising how the different facets of this child prodigy story are fanned out: the father's educational experiment, the gender relationship, the idiosyncratic world of chess, the tension of competitions, the social and political conditions - all this is reflected in this exciting biography of women. The nominated projects 2020


Jury 2020

Anke Hahn (Head of film distribution, Deutsche Kinemathek – Museum für Film und Fernsehen)

Patrick Hörl (Managing Director, Autentic GmbH)

Monika Preischl (Archive Researcher and Archive Producer)

Simon Witter (Footage Archive / Licensing, British Pathé Ltd.)


Award winners 2019: WENN DER NEBEL SICH LICHTET by Nancy Brandt and Ralf Kukula

Simon Witter (British Pathé), Nancy Brandt (Award Winner), Claudia Engelhardt (Filmmuseum München), Andrea Bräu (BR) and Dr. Kay Hoffmann (Haus des Dokumentarfilms)

The British Pathé Archive Award 2019 goes to the Project WENN DER NEBEL SICH LICHTET by Nancy Brandt and Ralf Kukula

Selected Projects for the British Pathé Archive Award. 


Andrea Bräu, Bayerischer Rundfunk, History and Society Department

Claudia Engelhardt, Filmmuseum München

Dr. Kay Hoffmann, Haus des Dokumentarfilms Stuttgart

Simon Witter, British Pathé London


Sebastian Sorg, FFF Bayern