Article: Lost Connections launches on BFI Player and is still available for exhibitors to screen

BFI FAN are excited to announce that Lost Connections – a new, archive-based short from the BFI Film Audience Network – has launched on BFI Player and, as part of the New Directions season, UK film exhibitors can screen it online and in-venue for free. 

Lost Connections is a unique collaboration led by the Yorkshire Film Archive and the moving image archives of Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the nine English regional film archives. The film was supported by Film Hub North on behalf of the BFI Film Audience Network (through National Lottery funding). It will screen at cinemas across the UK, and stream on BFI Player from Thursday 16 September. It will also be screened in schools across the UK as part of the Into Film ‘Mental Health and Wellbeing campaign’ on Into Film+, launching on 21 September.

Created by Andy Burns, editor and filmmaker at the Yorkshire Film Archive, the 13-minute short film is meticulously crafted from over 200 films put forward by the archive curators on film, video and born-digital formats.

The narration is co-written, with Burns, and performed by artist Hussina Raja, who responds to the imagery with a common and recurring narration throughout the film: ‘Can we always be connected?’.

But are we the only generation to have asked these questions?

Revealing our common experiences over the generations – loss, loneliness, isolation, the importance of community, of family, of human touch the archive footage of Lost Connections uncovers imagery and voices that resonate with the feelings of uncertainty and disconnection, and also convey a collective desire for reconnection with people, community and nature.

Lost Connections is a film about recovery, hope and renewal, the human character, sadness and joy, what we really value, and our gradual reconnection with each other, our communities, and the world around us.

Lost Connections is the result of a unique collaboration between 12 of the UK’s Regional and National Film Archives. It was produced by Yorkshire Film Archive and supported with National Lottery funding through Film Hub North’s ongoing 2021 archive film season, New Directions.

As part of the New Directions season, UK film exhibitors can screen Lost Connections online and in-venue for free. For more information on the film, the story of its production and to enquire about a screening, visit the Lost Connections landing page.

It’s a film about recovery. Though it takes the past as its reference point, the purpose of the project was to say something about our collective responsibility to build better futures. We wanted the film to honour our mixed feelings about our gradual reconnection with each other, our communities and the world around us.

Archive film projects supported with National Lottery funding as part of New Directions are set to continue throughout 2021.

Recent events in the season include: ReDrawing Edinburgh, a series of site-specific installations marking a moment of historic change in the Scottish capital a century ago; and Coalfield Stories, a programme celebrating 40 years of collaboration between the Amber Film & Photography Collective and the communities of the Durham coalfields.

Andy Robson, Screen Heritage Producer, BFI Film Audience Network, Film Hub North says, “Lost Connections is a salient and emotional reminder of the parallels between our past and our most recent experiences. This creative production using compelling archive footage and voices, uniquely brings together the National and Regional Archives and brilliantly showcases the riches of our public film collections. The film offers multiple reflections on the journey of the last 18 months, and I’m sure it will spark hopeful conversations for the way ahead.”

Joe Ursell, Curation Manager, Into Film, “At Into Film we are passionate about the power of archive film to connect young people to our past and open up new ways of understanding the community around them. As soon as we saw Lost Connections, we were struck by its deeply moving tone and potential to encourage personal and collective reflection from young people around mental health and their responses to the last 18 months. We’re proud to be able to bring Lost Connections to young audiences across the country on the Into Film+ platform and can’t wait to learn about the conversations the film generates in classrooms up and down the UK.”

Produced by the Yorkshire Film Archive, supported by Film Hub North

+ Lost Connections

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