British Pathé Archive Award 2020

Sponsored by British Pathé, endowed with material supply worth 14,000 euros

© 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.

From the submissions for the Marketplace, a three-member jury will award the prize to a project at the pitches. The winning project will receive British Pathé archive material worth 14,000 euros, alternatively 2,500 euros can be paid in cash.

Prize sponsor: British Pathé

British Pathé is considered to be the finest newsreel archive in the world and is a treasure trove of 85,000 films unrivalled in their historical and cultural significance. Over the last 50 years, this material has been used extensively by broadcasters, production companies, corporations and museums, among many others.


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


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.)


Review 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