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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GLANDLESS PUMPS FOR POWER PLANT [5894]

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The glandless pump manufactured by Weir's Pumps, Glasgow, is demonstrated and explained.

1969

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'GLASGOW 1980' thumbnail

GLASGOW 1980 [0974]

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A documentary on how Glasgow would look in the 1980's after the redevelopment of its traffic system and the construction of new housing developments, planned in the mid '70s. Relates to issues proposed in the Bruce Report 1945 - a plan for the complete deconstruction of the existing Victorian city centre in order to create an new 'healthy and beautiful city’ of modern architecture.

Full length video available

1971

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GLASGOW'S PROGRESS [1497]

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Rushes from an unfinished production intended as a sequel to GLASGOW 1980. [See also ref. 0974].

1978

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GOLDEN THISTLE AWARD [2791]

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Close up shots of the Golden Thistle award with its inscription "Edinburgh Film Festival 1970. Golden Thistle Award for outstanding achievement in the Art of Cinematography, Darryl F. Zanuck. Presented by Films of Scotland Committee".

1970

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'GOOD SERVANT, the' thumbnail

GOOD SERVANT, the [2211]

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The story of the Clydesdale horse, from foal to champion at the Royal Highland Show.

Full length video available

1958

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GR STEIN REFRACTORIES [3589]

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A description of the processes involved in the production of refractory bricks and their uses.

1972

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GRAND MATCH, the [3127]

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The 38th Grand Match of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club held on the frozen Lake of Menteith in 1979.

Full length video available

1981

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'GREAT MILL RACE, the' thumbnail

GREAT MILL RACE, the [0921]

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Dramatised account of a race between an unscrupulous modern woollen mill and a traditional mill to make up a garment from original fleece to finished article.

Full length video available

1975

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'HAND OF ADAM' thumbnail

HAND OF ADAM [2246]

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Made to celebrate European Architectural Heritage Year. A detailed study of the architectural works of Robert Adam.

Full length video available

1975

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'HEALTH OF A CITY' thumbnail

HEALTH OF A CITY [2241]

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Made to commemorate the centenary of the appointment of the first Medical Officer of Health for Glasgow, it highlights their work in housing, schools and hospitals.

Full length video available

1965

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'HEART OF SCOTLAND, the' thumbnail

HEART OF SCOTLAND, the [0912]

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The history and industries of Stirlingshire. [Treatment by John Grierson]

Full length video available

1962

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'HEBRIDEAN HIGHWAY' thumbnail

HEBRIDEAN HIGHWAY [2212]

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The story of the car ferries to the Hebrides.

Full length video available

1966

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'HIGHLAND CAPITAL' thumbnail

HIGHLAND CAPITAL [2213]

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Inverness as a focal point for Highland life past and present: from St. Columba and King Bruce to the Loch Ness Monster and the World Pipe Band Championships. (20 mins)

Full length video available

1968

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'HIGHLAND CRAFTS' thumbnail

HIGHLAND CRAFTS [2914]

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Traditional craft work in the Highlands and Islands.

Full length video available

1973

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'HIGHLAND FOLK' thumbnail

HIGHLAND FOLK [2238]

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Folk traditions in the Highlands, highlighting the Folk Museum of Kingussie. (10 mins)

Full length video available

1962

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'HIGHLAND HOLIDAY' thumbnail

HIGHLAND HOLIDAY [2698]

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Some of the attractions offered by the Highlands to the holiday-maker, from sand yachting at Dunnet Bay, to skiing on the Cairngorms.

Full length video available

1972

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'HIGHLANDS' thumbnail

HIGHLANDS [2756]

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The industries of the Highlands featuring the Invergordon Smelter and Ben Cruachan and Dounreay Power Stations.

Full length video available

1971

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'HOLIDAY SCOTLAND' thumbnail

HOLIDAY SCOTLAND [2631]

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A scenic tour of Scotland taking in the Borders, Highlands and the Hebrides.

Full length video available

1966

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'HOLLOW MOUNTAIN, the' thumbnail

HOLLOW MOUNTAIN, the [2214]

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The building of the Ben Cruachan pumped-storage hydro-electric scheme. (15 mins) [See also ref. 2790].

Full length video available

1966

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'HUGH MacDIARMID: No Fellow Travellers' thumbnail

HUGH MacDIARMID: No Fellow Travellers [2688]

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Made to commemorate the 80th birthday of the late Hugh MacDiarmid, the poet speaks about his life and work in conversation with his son Michael Grieve and fellow poet Norman MacCaig. (30 mins)

Full length video available

1972

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'I REMEMBER, I REMEMBER' thumbnail

I REMEMBER, I REMEMBER [2232]

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A personal account by John Grierson of a life spent in documentary film-making, including his early life in Stirling.

Full length video available

Onsite only

1968

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'IF ONLY WE HAD THE SPACE' thumbnail

IF ONLY WE HAD THE SPACE [2101]

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Made to demonstrate how improvements to Glasgow city tenements could be made with the aid of Home Improvement Grants.

Full length video available

1961

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'IN GOOD HEART' thumbnail

IN GOOD HEART [2215]

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The story of the farming year in Scotland, told through the eyes of four farmers in the Highlands, the Borders, Ayrshire and Angus. (21 mins)

Full length video available

1961

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'IN GREAT WATERS' thumbnail

IN GREAT WATERS [2242]

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The fishing industry in the Shetlands, Western Highlands and Outer Hebrides.

Full length video available

1974

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'INVERGORDON SMELTER, the' thumbnail

INVERGORDON SMELTER, the [2216]

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The conception and construction of the aluminium smelter at Invergordon.

Full length video available

1972

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'IONA - DOVE ACROSS THE WATER' thumbnail

IONA - DOVE ACROSS THE WATER [3068]

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The island of Iona is glimpsed in summer and winter, through the lambing and harvest seasons, from sunrise to sunset.

Full length video available

1982

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'ISLAND OF THE BIG CLOTH' thumbnail

ISLAND OF THE BIG CLOTH [2622]

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The story of Harris tweed and of the life of the islanders who produce it.

Full length video available

1971

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'ISLANDS OF THE WEST' thumbnail

ISLANDS OF THE WEST [2692]

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A portrayal of the scenic beauty of the Hebrides.

Full length video available

1972

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'ISLE OF RHUM' thumbnail

ISLE OF RHUM [2587]

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A study of the animal and plantlife on the island of Rhum, and a history of the island's Kinloch Castle. Also features activities such as deer-stalking with Rhum ponies and the work of the Nature Conservancy wardens in protecting the natural heritage of the island.

Full length video available

1970

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JON SCHUELER: An Artist and his Vision [3272]

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American artist Jon Schueler speaks directly of what Mallaig and the Sound of Sleat means to him as a painter. (30 mins)

1972

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'KEEP YOUR EYE ON PAISLEY' thumbnail

KEEP YOUR EYE ON PAISLEY [2233]

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The town of Paisley, its industries and people.

Full length video available

1975

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'KIND OF SEEING: The Colour of Scotland, a' thumbnail

KIND OF SEEING: The Colour of Scotland, a [2234]

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The colours and shapes of the Scottish landscape.

Full length video available

1967

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KING AND THE WHISKY, the [2007]

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A history of the Port Edgar "George IV Old Scotch Whisky" distillery at South Queensferry. (15 mins)

1965

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'KINTYRE' thumbnail

KINTYRE [2767]

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Scenes of life on the Mull of Kintytre including shots of holiday makers and local inhabitants. Shots of farming, fishing and mining at the Argyll Colliery and general views of Campbeltown.

Full length video available

1955

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'KIRKCALDY' thumbnail

KIRKCALDY [2266]

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Guided by a cartoon disc jockey, the film looks at the Fife town of Kirkcaldy. Its townspeople tell of their town, their attitudes to it, its oddities, pleasures and problems.

Full length video available

1975

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LAND LIVED IN, a [2217]

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Castles and country houses in the care of the National Trust for Scotland.

1957

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'LIFE IN THE ORKNEYS' thumbnail

LIFE IN THE ORKNEYS [2009]

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Life on the Orkney islands seen through the eyes of a mail boat skipper, a farmer and a civil air-service pilot. Film includes brief shot of German fleet in Scapa Flow prior to scuttling in 1919 and an aerial shot of the Churchill Barriers.

Full length video available

1957

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'LINE TO SKYE, the' thumbnail

LINE TO SKYE, the [2260]

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Made as part of Ross and Cromarty's campaign to have the Inverness to Kyle railway line kept open, the film features the stations, and landscape along its route.

Full length video available

1973

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'LIVING IN SCOTLAND / SMITHS IN SCOTLAND, the' thumbnail

LIVING IN SCOTLAND / SMITHS IN SCOTLAND, the [2231]

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An expression of the point of view of English men and women who have made their homes north of the Border.

Full length video available

1966

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'LIVINGSTON - A PLAN FOR LIVING' thumbnail

LIVINGSTON - A PLAN FOR LIVING [2228]

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A young family take a look round the new town of Livingston to discover what it has to offer.

Full length video available

1976

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'LIVINGSTON - A TOWN FOR THE LOTHIANS' thumbnail

LIVINGSTON - A TOWN FOR THE LOTHIANS [2219]

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Made to promote Livingston New Town, its housing, industries and schools.

Full length video available

1969

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'LOCH LOMOND' thumbnail

LOCH LOMOND [2250]

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The animals and lives of the people through the seasons on the shores of Loch Lomond.

Full length video available

1967

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'LOTHIAN LANDSCAPE' thumbnail

LOTHIAN LANDSCAPE [2258]

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The towns, castles and farmland of East Lothian.

Full length video available

1974

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'MACKINTOSH' thumbnail

MACKINTOSH [2226]

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The life and work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Full length video available

1968

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'MAKE WAY FOR STEEL' thumbnail

MAKE WAY FOR STEEL [2244]

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The construction of Ravenscraig and Gartcosh steel works.

Full length video available

1966

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'METAL IN HARMONY' thumbnail

METAL IN HARMONY [2239]

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How the aluminium industry was established in the Highlands.

Full length video available

1962

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MOTOROLA SILICON CHIP MANUFACTURING [4410]

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Women working in the Motorola Silicon Chip factory.

1980

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'MURCHISON PROJECT, the' thumbnail

MURCHISON PROJECT, the [3124]

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A study of the stages of development of the Murchison Project set up between British and Norwegian businessmen and Conoco to build a new North Sea oil rig.

Full length video available

1980

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'NEIL GUNN - LIGHT IN THE NORTH' thumbnail

NEIL GUNN - LIGHT IN THE NORTH [0589]

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Neil Gunn, the Scottish novelist, talks to George Bruce about his life and work.

Full length video available

1972

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'NEW DAY' thumbnail

NEW DAY [0307]

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Life in Glenrothes New Town as seen through the eyes of a miner and his family.

Full length video available

1959

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