FOCAL International

FOCAL International is the trade association representing stock footage companies, post-production facilities and individuals involved in the use of footage, still images and audio in all forms of media production. It represents more than 300 companies and individuals involved in media production, asset management, preservation of historical archives, film restoration and post-production.

Federation of Commercial Audio Visual Libraries
FOCAL International logo.jpg
AbbreviationFOCAL International
Legal statusNon-profit company
PurposeTrade association for the film archive, filmmaking and stock footage industry
  • 27 Mortimer Street, London, W1T 3BL
Region served
Stock footage archives, industry skills and services companies
Chair of Patrons
David Puttnam
Greg Dyke
WebsiteFOCAL International


FOCAL International was founded in 1985 by an international group of library archive leaders, specialising in film, television and news content who knew each other largely through licensing film and television archives who felt that archive owners could financially benefit from commercially exploiting parts of their archives for secondary use by professional film and television producers. The high cost of Archive management, preservation and storage and the introduction of new formats was also endangering many film based collections.[1] The founders included Jill Hawkins from BBC Enterprises (now BBC Worldwide), Pam Turner of Visnews, David Warner of ITN, George Marshall of British Pathe, Sten Frykholm from the Swedish broadcaster SVT, Jacque Blanchard, from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and Patricia Gang of National Geographic. With the support of a close group of individuals from both BBC and Visnews including Alan Stoner, Jeremy Cantwell, David Wratten as well as researchers Kirsty MacCalman and Jane Mercer, FOCAL launched officially at MIPCOM in 1987.

Its first patron was David (now Lord) Puttnam, who became Chair of Patrons in 2005.


FOCAL International is run by a small administration team in the UK, reporting to an international Executive Council, comprising a Chair, and a number of representatives of member bodies.

FOCAL International seeks to implement its objectives through its committees, which are made up of industry experts and representatives. These committees include: the Editorial Committee, responsible for the quarterly magazine "Archive Zones"; the Events & Exhibitions Committee, responsible for organising the FOCAL International Awards, and FOCAL International’s presence at relevant trade and industry events; the Training Committee, responsible for providing and promoting training in the archive industry, and raising awareness of the need for preservation of archives; and the Funding & Lobbying Committee, which lobbies governmental and institutional bodies on behalf of its members.

FOCAL International AwardsEdit

The FOCAL International Awards were established in 2004 to support and honour the researchers, technicians and producers who uncover, preserve and utilise archive footage in their work. The award ceremony is held annually in the spring in London, UK.

The Awards cover categories for the best use of footage in factual productions, entertainment or drama, arts, music, sports, natural history and cinema, and also include categories for the best restoration or preservation project, best footage library, best footage researcher of the year, and a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Notable winners have included:


Companies and organisations that are members of FOCAL International include:


  1. ^ Slide, Anthony (1992). Nitrate Won't Wait: A History of Film Preservation in the United States. MacFarland & Company Ltd. ISBN 0-7864-0836-7.
  2. ^ FOCAL International Awards 2012 Retrieved 12 July 2012
  3. ^ Imperial War Museum's "IWM Film Archive’s Britain At War wins prestigious FOCAL International Award" Retrieved 27 June 2012
  4. ^ FOCAL International Awards 2011 Retrieved 12 July 2012
  5. ^ FOCAL International Awards 2010 Retrieved 12 July 2012
  6. ^ FOCAL International Awards 2008 Retrieved 12 July 2008

External linksEdit