Filmmaker calls for archive Sidmouth FolkWeek footage
- Credit: Archant
Anyone who attended Sidmouth FolkWeek in the ’70s, ’80s or ’90s will probably remember a banner that led the processions – so it’s something of a mystery how it ended up at the dump.
Fortunately, it was rescued and ended up on in the hands of collector Paul Tully, a TV producer ‘on a mission’ to make a film on the acclaimed event. After also being handed canisters full of festival footage, he is calling on amateurs to submit archive material that could end up on the big screen.
Sidmouth resident Paul said: “I’m on a mission to find FolkWeek memorabilia, especially original film shot by amateurs dating from the ’60s and ’70s that I can use in a feature-length documentary film I’m making, together with local photographer Kyle Baker, about the history of the festival. The banner was a call out of the blue from a friend of ours who found it in the local dump and realised its importance. I was also approached by a local builder who found Super 8mm canisters in a skip during a house renovation and the words ‘Folk Fest 1961’ were written on them. It hit me at that point that there must be more unseen archive from amateurs around the country that should be included in the film. So this year, we’re putting a call out to all festival-goers to help us find more old movie footage and photographs that could work!”
The film, A Small, Quiet, English Town, has been in development since 2014, the 60th anniversary of the festival, but Paul said a lack of funding meant it had to be put on the back-burner. After his company received a major commission from Creative England and the British Film Institute, he is now confident he can complete the FolkWeek film to the standard it deserves.
“We’re hoping to have it ready for screening next year,” said Paul. “It features some well-known folk artists including Eliza and Martin Carthy, Ralph McTell and the Oyster Band, and the original title track, written by Steve Knightley and performed by Show of Hands, which featured on BBC Radio 2’s playlist last year.”
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Any readers with memorabilia they think might be of interest to Paul can call him on 07983 095292 or email via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paul has given the banner to Sidmouth Museum for safekeeping and it will form part of a festival photo exhibition there that will be open from Monday, August 7, to Friday, August 11.
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