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Make Film - Greatest Generation

Wartime evacuees from The British Council Film Collection

February 2015

A new partnership between British Council, Into Film, BBC and BFI, is giving UK children unique access to a treasure trove of British-made archive documentaries for use in a brand new creative project.

Alongside the British Film Institute (BFI), the BBC and film education charity Into Film, we're joining forces to offer an innovative new filmmaking project to children age 7-11.

Make Film – Greatest Generation encourages children to explore and commemorate their local history by filming interviews with members of the wartime generation and combine them with specially-chosen archive clips, in order to make their own short documentaries.

Together with the BFI, who have opened up the BFI National Archive for the project, and highlighting material from our own British Council Film Collection, we're providing children with unique access to over 100 amazing films made from 1930 to 1960. The films show real-life experiences of the wartime era in towns and cities across the UK.

The project is inspired by a landmark BBC Two series screening later this year, ‘Britain’s Greatest Generation’, which marks the 70th anniversary of the end of WW2.

A special Make Film – Greatest Generation website hosts all of the resources educators and pupils need to make their own ‘greatest generation’ documentaries, including creating a timeline, analyzing what makes a good documentary, explaining how to find and interview an eyewitness, and a filmmaking toolkit.  

Steve Humphries, Executive Producer of the series, is also contributing to site, giving his top interviewing tips. As
Humphries says: This is a fantastic opportunity for children to participate in a nationwide oral history project, collecting and commemorating the experiences of Britain’s greatest generation. Now in their 80s, 90s and 100s; these are the generation who lived through WW2 and went on to be part of building the Welfare State and National Health Service as we know it today.

To get find out more and get involved go to

The educational resource is available from 24 February and the complete collection of archive clips is available from mid April.

Completed films will be showcased on a dedicated section of the site and all those submitted by 20 May will be considered for inclusion in a BBC compilation programme to be broadcast on the BBC Two Learning Zone later in 2015.

In addition, three films will be selected for the BFI National Archive as a lasting legacy.