British Pathé Archive Award

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 winner 2021: LIFE IS NOT A COMPETITION BUT I’M WINNING by Julia Fuhr Mann

This film wants to explore the utopian potential in competitive sports, especially in running sports. It aims to create a world far away from strict sex and gender perceptions – because sex segregation is still socially accepted in sports, but it is unimaginable to be that rigid anywhere else in today‘s society.
In a mixture of fictional and documentary scenes, the film will create an utopian world where athletes are not classified according to their sex or gender, but are given space to show their uniqueness.

Jury statement

„Our audiovisual heritage is our preserved memory. We can find in this collective memory many beautiful as well as unpleasant perspectives on ourselves that were never in the conscious intention of the recorders. It is this new look at our past that the director and producers use to bring their project LIFE IS NOT A COMPETITION BUT I'M WINNING into the present. By reflecting to us the power of our communal adherence to norms and narratives, they ask us about our willingness to change. The project by Julia Fuhr Mann, Sophie Ahrens and Melissa Byrne addresses the utopian potential of competitive sport beyond rigid gender boundaries and images. [...]"

The nominated projects 2021

Jury 2021

Gunnar Dedio (LOOKSfilm)
Nina Goslar (ZDF/ARTE)
Karin Jurschik (HFF München)
Euridice Zaituna Kala (Euridice Kala)
Julia Teichmann (German Films)
Simon Witter (British Pathé Ltd.)

Award winners 2020: QUEEN OF CHESS of Bernadett Tuza-Ritter, Gabor Harmi and 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.

Jury 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.)