Biography of 'Films of Scotland Committee'

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Production and distribution organisation

The Films of Scotland collection comprises some 150 documentary films which chart the changing face of Britain from 1955 to 1982, produced under the auspices of the second Films of Scotland Committee established under the aegis of the Scottish Council for
Development and Industry.

Films of Scotland was born in the 1930s when Scotland hosted the 1938 Empire Exhibition. Walter Elliot, Scottish Secretary, was keen to see a series of films produced for screening to the millions of visitors expected, films that would reflect the upsurge of national feeling at the time. His decision to use the medium of film for this purpose arose from admiration of John Grierson’s pioneering documentary films DRIFTERS and NIGHT MAIL. Elliot formed a committee - Films of Scotland - whose purpose was to promote Scotland both nationally and internationally, depicting all aspects of Scottish life – social, cultural and industrial. Grierson was appointed as adviser for the production of a series of seven films that as a group would reflect the spectrum of modern Scotland and its people in a vivid and meaningful way and would form the centrepiece of the film programme for the Exhibition. The Committee stood down in 1939 having done their job.

At its re-establishment in 1954 membership of the Committee represented all branches of the film industry, tourism and local and national administration and manufacturing.

The collection represents one of the most coherent local and national film collections in the UK. Arguably it offers a different model for film studies from the usual sources and opens up the possibility of fresh material for a critique of the post-war British documentary. Grierson was a leading member of the second Committee producing several treatments for them, as well as his autobiographical film I REMEMBER, I REMEMBER (1968 ). The collection includes the little known early work of British film makers who moved from documentary into feature film such as Bill Forsyth, screen writing credits for novelists such as William McIlvanney and Alasdair Gray and music composed by Muir Mathieson and John Maxwell Geddes.

The extensive written archive of administrative records, production files, scripts, stills, marketing materials and programme booklets offer a discrete set of data on the infrastructure and distribution methods of a UK film agency, with evidence of audience and industry reception to the works both domestically and internationally in an era of transition from cinema-going to television viewing. These records can be consulted at the National Library of Scotland Moving Image Archive.

Researcher: Janet McBain

Films associated with 'COCOZZA, Enrico'

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'NORMAN MacCAIG: A MAN IN MY POSITION' thumbnail

NORMAN MacCAIG: A MAN IN MY POSITION [2802]

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The poet Norman MacCaig talks about his work to Magnus Magnusson and John MacInnes.

Full length video available

1977

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'ONE DAY IN IRVINE' thumbnail

ONE DAY IN IRVINE [2237]

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The Ayrshire town of Irvine as seen through the eyes of a young Canadian.

Full length video available

1971

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'OVER THE SEA TO SKYE' thumbnail

OVER THE SEA TO SKYE [0363]

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The film follows a hiker through Skye, visiting Dunvegan Castle and climbing the Cuillins.

Full length video available

1961

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'PERTHSHIRE PANORAMA' thumbnail

PERTHSHIRE PANORAMA [0364]

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An introduction to Perthshire, highlighting its places of interest, countryside and leisure opportunities.

Full length video available

1959

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'PLACE IN THE COUNTRY: Renfrewshire Regional Park, a' thumbnail

PLACE IN THE COUNTRY: Renfrewshire Regional Park, a [3165]

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A description of Renfrewshire Regional Park (Clyde-Muirsheil), Scotland's first country park.

Full length video available

1972

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'PLACES... OR PEOPLE' thumbnail

PLACES... OR PEOPLE [3148]

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The planning and construction of improvements in the housing and industrial landscape of the city of Glasgow.

Full length video available

1975

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'PLAYING AWAY' thumbnail

PLAYING AWAY [2220]

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Spotlight on various sporting events and personalities in Scotland. Including a rugby international at Murrayfield, the British Open at St. Andrews and a Scotland v England football match at Hampden.

Full length video available

1961

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'PLEASURE ISLAND' thumbnail

PLEASURE ISLAND [2805]

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Holidays on the Firth of Clyde, Rothesay and the Isle of Bute.

Full length video available

1960

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'POLAR POWER' thumbnail

POLAR POWER [3268]

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The power and adaptability of Polar diesel engines as seen in a telecommunications centre, and a variety of shipping designs. (19 mins)

Full length video available

1974

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POWER FROM BELOW [3267]

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The use of BICC's oil filled cables in the building of the Cruachan pumped water power station. (15 mins)

1968

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'PRACTICAL ROMANTIC, SIR WALTER SCOTT' thumbnail

PRACTICAL ROMANTIC, SIR WALTER SCOTT [2264]

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The life of Sir Walter Scott, and the landscape that inspired him. Made to commemorate the bi-centenary of Scott's birth.

Full length video available

1969

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'PRIDE OF ISLANDS, a' thumbnail

PRIDE OF ISLANDS, a [2259]

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The changing pattern of life in the Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland.

Full length video available

1973

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'PRIDE OF PENGUINS, a' thumbnail

PRIDE OF PENGUINS, a [2834]

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The rearing of penguins at Edinburgh Zoo.

Full length video available

1977

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'PROSPECT FOR A CITY' thumbnail

PROSPECT FOR A CITY [2807]

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Produced to commemorate the bi-centenary of Craig's Plan for the first New Town of Edinburgh, 1767, the film shows the Town's buildings, gardens and monuments.

Full length video available

1967

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'PROSPECT OF SCOTLAND' thumbnail

PROSPECT OF SCOTLAND [3142]

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A view of the industrial structure of Scotland, putting contemporary industries into the context of the country's scenery, history and tradition.

Full length video available

1975

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'QUEEN IN SCOTLAND, the' thumbnail

QUEEN IN SCOTLAND, the [2221]

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The royal visits and official ceremonies during the Queen's tour of Scotland.

Full length video available

1960

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'QUIET COUNTRY, the' thumbnail

QUIET COUNTRY, the [2249]

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An exploration of south-west Scotland.

Full length video available

1972

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'RAINDROP' thumbnail

RAINDROP [3149]

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The story of a drop of rain, from dripping leaf to rushing stream.

Full length video available

1975

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'RIVERS AT WORK' thumbnail

RIVERS AT WORK [2240]

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The story of the electrification of the Highlands by the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board. Commentary by John Grierson.

Full length video available

1958

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'ROOTES GROUP, the' thumbnail

ROOTES GROUP, the [0085]

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The production of the Hillman Imp at the Rootes car factory at Linwood.

Full length video available

1963

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'ROYAL HIGHLAND SHOW INGLISTON SHOW 1960' thumbnail

ROYAL HIGHLAND SHOW INGLISTON SHOW 1960 [7111]

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Produced for the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society with the co-operation of the Films of Scotland Committee, this film offers a taste of the wide range of activities on offer at the Royal Highland Show at Ingliston, 1960.

Full length video available

1960

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'ROYAL STIRLING' thumbnail

ROYAL STIRLING [2379]

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The town of Stirling and its surrounding area.

Full length video available

1972

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'SCOTLAND - A MARKET BASE IN EUROPE' thumbnail

SCOTLAND - A MARKET BASE IN EUROPE [5818]

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A group of industrialists give their views on the advantages of setting up business in Scotland.

Full length video available

1979

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'SCOTLAND - YOUR MARKET BASE IN EUROPE' thumbnail

SCOTLAND - YOUR MARKET BASE IN EUROPE [3153]

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A group of industrialists give their views on the advantages of setting up business in Scotland.

Full length video available

1979

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'SCOTLAND DANCES' thumbnail

SCOTLAND DANCES [2224]

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The tradition of Scottish Highland and Country dancing, reflecting some of its world-wide popularity.

Full length video available

1957

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'SCOTLAND FOR FITNESS' thumbnail

SCOTLAND FOR FITNESS [0231]

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One of a group of seven documentaries made for the 1938 Empire Exhibition under the supervision of John Grierson, the film was part of a campaign to improve the fitness of the Scots.

Full length video available

1938

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SCOTLANDO [5915]

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Scotland - A Market Base in Europe Japanese version. Essentially the same film edited slightly differently with a dubbed Japanese v/over.

1979

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'SEA CITY - GREENOCK' thumbnail

SEA CITY - GREENOCK [2236]

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A promotional film for the town of Greenock, featuring the Scott Lithgow shipyard, the town's industries, houses and people.

Full length video available

1974

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'SEA FOOD' thumbnail

SEA FOOD [1060]

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One of a group of seven documentaries made for screening at the 1938 Empire Exhibition, featuring the research work of the Scottish Fisheries Board.

Full length video available

1938

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'SEAWARDS THE GREAT SHIPS' thumbnail

SEAWARDS THE GREAT SHIPS [2230]

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The Oscar-winning documentary of shipbuilding on the Clyde, directed by Hilary Harris, treatment by John Grierson. Scenes in the drawing offices, steel mills and shipyards depict how the ships were constructed, launched and fitted out before starting out

Full length video available

1960

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'SILVER CITY, the' thumbnail

SILVER CITY, the [2225]

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An impression of the city of Aberdeen.

Full length video available

1960

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'SISYPHUS' thumbnail

SISYPHUS [2912]

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Films of Scotland's first cartoon film. A version in Scots of the Greek legend of Sisyphus, read by Robert Garioch.

Full length video available

1971

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'SONG FOR PRINCE CHARLIE, a' thumbnail

SONG FOR PRINCE CHARLIE, a [2256]

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Told in song, the film follows the route taken by Bonnie Prince Charlie after the Battle of Culloden.

Full length video available

1959

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'SONGS OF SCOTLAND' thumbnail

SONGS OF SCOTLAND [2235]

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Against a backdrop of Scottish scenes, traditional songs of Scotland are sung by Elizabeth Robson, Dolina MacLennan, Hamish Henderson, Duncan Robertson, Robin Hall and Jimmie Macgregor.

Full length video available

1963

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'SORLEY MACLEAN'S ISLAND' thumbnail

SORLEY MACLEAN'S ISLAND [3141]

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The Gaelic poet Sorley Maclean recites his poetry and discusses his work with fellow writer Iain Crichton Smith.

Full length video available

1974

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'SPACE AND LIGHT' thumbnail

SPACE AND LIGHT [3071]

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An exploration of St Peter's Seminary, Cardross on the Firth of Clyde.

Full length video available

1972

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'SPIRIT OF SCOTLAND, the' thumbnail

SPIRIT OF SCOTLAND, the [3150]

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The distilling processes at the Long John distilleries at Laphraoig, Tormore and Glenugie.

Full length video available

1979

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'SPORT IN SCOTLAND' thumbnail

SPORT IN SCOTLAND [0314]

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One of a group of seven documentaries made for the 1938 Empire Exhibition, under the supervision of John Grierson, featuring the sporting pursuits particular to Scotland.

Full length video available

1938

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'ST. ANDREWS BY THE NORTHERN SEA' thumbnail

ST. ANDREWS BY THE NORTHERN SEA [2247]

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A look at the university town of St. Andrews.

Full length video available

1972

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'ST. KILDA - THE LONELY ISLANDS' thumbnail

ST. KILDA - THE LONELY ISLANDS [0911]

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Documentary about the islands of St. Kilda and their indigenous bird, animal and plant life. Films of Scotland's first film produced for television.

Full length video available

1967

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'STILL LIFE WITH HONESTY' thumbnail

STILL LIFE WITH HONESTY [2686]

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The late Sir William Gillies, speaks of his life's work while the camera lingers on his paintings.

Full length video available

1970

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'STOCK OF BROOM - THE EDINBURGH MERCHANT COMPANY' thumbnail

STOCK OF BROOM - THE EDINBURGH MERCHANT COMPANY [2255]

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Made to commemorate the tercentenary of the Company of Merchants of the city of Edinburgh featuring the tradition of teaching in Merchant Company schools.

Full length video available

1981

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'STONE IN THE HEATHER, a' thumbnail

STONE IN THE HEATHER, a [3140]

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The late Eric Linklater speaks with Ian Grimble of his life and writing.

Full length video available

1976

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'STORY OF TORMORE, the' thumbnail

STORY OF TORMORE, the [2795]

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The construction of the Tormore Distillery on Speyside, highlighting some of the aspects of the social and historical setting of the development.

Full length video available

1963

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'SUN PICTURES, the' thumbnail

SUN PICTURES, the [1496]

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A history of the pioneers of photography, David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson.

Full length video available

1965

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'TAY ROAD BRIDGE' thumbnail

TAY ROAD BRIDGE [2243]

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The building of the Tay Road Bridge from the initial stages to the official opening.

Full length video available

1967

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'TAYSIDE' thumbnail

TAYSIDE [2257]

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An overview of Tayside, looking at its industries, towns, landscape and people. First Films of Scotland film to be made about one of the new local authority regions.

Full length video available

1974

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'THEY MADE THE LAND' thumbnail

THEY MADE THE LAND [1063]

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One of a group of seven documentaries made for screening at the 1938 Empire Exhibition under the supervision of John Grierson, highlighting the struggle to live from the land and the work of the various departments of agricultural research and animal bree

Full length video available

1938

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'THREE SCOTTISH PAINTERS' thumbnail

THREE SCOTTISH PAINTERS [2263]

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A documentary on the work of artists John Maxwell, Joan Eardley and Robin Philipson.

Full length video available

1963

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'TOP COUNTRY' thumbnail

TOP COUNTRY [3047]

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A view of the economy of the Highlands, stressing the physical attributes and characteristics which makes the area attractive to industrialists.

Full length video available

1972

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