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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'A9 HIGHLAND HIGHWAY' thumbnail

A9 HIGHLAND HIGHWAY [1962]

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A documentary on the remaking, over ten years, of the A9 between Perth and Inverness - the highest trunk road in Britain.

Full length video available

1982

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'ABERDEEN BY SEASIDE AND DEESIDE' thumbnail

ABERDEEN BY SEASIDE AND DEESIDE [1371]

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An impressionistic account of the attractions that Aberdeen and Deeside offer the summer visitor.

Full length video available

1971

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'AMAZING MOMENTS OF THE GREAT TRACTION ENGINES, the' thumbnail

AMAZING MOMENTS OF THE GREAT TRACTION ENGINES, the [1356]

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A small boy inherits a steam road roller. A film fantasy by Edward McConnell.

Full length video available

1969

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'AS LONG AS YOU'RE YOUNG' thumbnail

AS LONG AS YOU'RE YOUNG [2804]

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A year of youth hostelling in Scotland; hikers enjoying walking by Loch Lomond, skiers in Glen Coe, cyclists in the Borders, yachting on the Clyde.

Full length video available

1962

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'AYR FROM THE AULD BRIG' thumbnail

AYR FROM THE AULD BRIG [2792]

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The story of the town of Ayr and its links with Robert Burns.

Full length video available

1961

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'BAGPIPE AND THE ZITHER' thumbnail

BAGPIPE AND THE ZITHER [3070]

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A co-production describing the twin cities of Munich and Edinburgh, highlighting their differences and similarities. (43 mins)

Full length video available

Onsite only

1975

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'BEYOND THE GRAMPIANS' thumbnail

BEYOND THE GRAMPIANS [1501]

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A description of the life of the fishing and farming communities in Aberdeenshire.

Full length video available

1963

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'BIG MILL, the' thumbnail

BIG MILL, the [0387]

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The production of sheet steel at the Ravenscraig and Gartcosh Works of Colvilles Ltd. Lanarkshire. Ravenscraig steel works produced steel in many forms - to make cars and desks, bridges and ships for worldwide markets.

Full length video available

1963

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'BOAT, the' thumbnail

BOAT, the [3067]

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A light-hearted comedy about a man who inherits a cabin cruiser and the misadventures of his first trip. Featuring Chic Murray.

Full length video available

1975

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'BO'NESS FAIR' thumbnail

BO'NESS FAIR [7793]

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An official record of the Bo'ness Fair in 1974, filmed between 22nd - 28th June.

Full length video available

1974

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'BONNETS OVER THE BORDER' thumbnail

BONNETS OVER THE BORDER [1602]

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A record of the three-day rally organised by the Veteran Car Club of Great Britain and the Royal Scottish Automobile Club, starting in Edinburgh and finishing at Turnberry via the Trossachs and Glasgow.

Full length video available

1962

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'BORDERS: Where Scotland and England Meet, the' thumbnail

BORDERS: Where Scotland and England Meet, the [2223]

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The changing forces in the traditional borderland; in the fishing and textile industries, farming, forestry and housing.

Full length video available

1970

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'BUSMAN'S HOLIDAY' thumbnail

BUSMAN'S HOLIDAY [0345]

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A Galloway bus driver goes on a coach tour to John O' Groats.

Full length video available

1959

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'BY LOCHABER I WILL GO' thumbnail

BY LOCHABER I WILL GO [2202]

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The travelling bank in Lochaber and the island of Lewis.

Full length video available

1960

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CALTREX CALENDERING LINE [2248]

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The partnership of an Edinburgh and a Manchester based firm in the manufacturing of PVC film for packaging. (10 mins)

1978

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'CASTLE AND CAPITAL' thumbnail

CASTLE AND CAPITAL [2262]

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A descriptive essay on the city of Edinburgh, and in particular of Edinburgh Castle.

Full length video available

1979

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'CHAMPIONS IN THE SUN' thumbnail

CHAMPIONS IN THE SUN [2203]

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Documentary about the 1964 Royal Highland Show at Ingliston.

Full length video available

1964

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'CHILDREN'S STORY, the' thumbnail

CHILDREN'S STORY, the [1059]

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One of a group of seven documentaries made for the 1938 Empire Exhibition under the supervision of John Grierson, describing the history of Scottish education.

Full length video available

1938

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CLYDESCOPE [1481]

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A panorama of the Clyde, from Biggar to Brodick, with Billy Connolly as guide.

1974

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'COME AWAY IN' thumbnail

COME AWAY IN [3021]

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A dramatised documentary on the day to day work in an SSEB electricity showroom.

Full length video available

1973

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'CONSTRUCTION OF THE FORTH ROAD BRIDGE' thumbnail

CONSTRUCTION OF THE FORTH ROAD BRIDGE [2222]

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The engineering work-in-progress of the construction of the Forth Road Bridge. [See also ref. 2208 for alternative version]. (48 mins)

Full length video available

1965

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'COUNTRY OF THE BLIND, the' thumbnail

COUNTRY OF THE BLIND, the [2002]

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The work of the Scottish National Institution for the War Blinded.

Full length video available

1968

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'COUNTY OF THE CLYDE' thumbnail

COUNTY OF THE CLYDE [2204]

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The changing pattern of life in Lanarkshire.

Full length video available

1963

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'COUNTY ON THE MOVE' thumbnail

COUNTY ON THE MOVE [2205]

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The towns, industries and places of interest in the county of West Lothian.

Full length video available

1966

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'CROMARTY BRIDGE, the' thumbnail

CROMARTY BRIDGE, the [3054]

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How a bridge was built over the Cromarty Firth and how an environment was preserved for migratory seabirds.

Full length video available

1979

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'CRUACHAN' thumbnail

CRUACHAN [2790]

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A description of the building of the pumped-storage hydro-electric scheme at Loch Awe, Argyll.

Full length video available

1966

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'CUMBERNAULD, TOWN FOR TOMORROW' thumbnail

CUMBERNAULD, TOWN FOR TOMORROW [2227]

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The New Town of Cumbernauld: its housing, recreational facilities and industries.

Full length video available

1970

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'DIFFERENT VALLEY, a' thumbnail

DIFFERENT VALLEY, a [5780]

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Filmed over the six year creation period of the Megget Valley reservoir and dam. Shots before, during and after construction.

Full length video available

1983

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DRAM LIKE THIS, a [2201]

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The distilling of whisky at the William Grant Glenfiddich, Girvan and Ladyburn distilleries.

1972

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'DUNA BULL, the' thumbnail

DUNA BULL, the [2229]

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A light-hearted comedy where Duna is an imaginary island lying far west of the Hebrides. When the islanders' only bull has to be destroyed they are faced with the problem of getting another to the island.

Full length video available

1972

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'DUNDEE' thumbnail

DUNDEE [1061]

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The city of Dundee and its industries; jute, jam manufacturing and journalism. [Premiered at a meeting of the British Association in Dundee, September 1939, the screening was abandoned midway owing to the declaration of war].

Full length video available

1939

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'DUNFERMLINE' thumbnail

DUNFERMLINE [2267]

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The town of Dunfermline, its past and present. Film includes brief shots of frigate sailing up the Forth and of USS aircraft carrier moored.

Full length video available

1974

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'EDINBURGH FESTIVAL 1964, the' thumbnail

EDINBURGH FESTIVAL 1964, the [0459]

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Documentary on the Edinburgh Festival 1964 including excerpts from plays, opera, ballet and the military tattoo.

Full length video available

1965

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'EDINBURGH ON PARADE' thumbnail

EDINBURGH ON PARADE [2793]

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The streets of Edinburgh at 1969 Festival time, featuring the parade along Princes Street.

Full length video available

1970

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ENAMEL AND CONCRETE PIPE COATINGS BY BREDERO PRICE [5463]

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Promotional film about enamel and concrete pipe coatings by Bredero Price.

1981

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'ENCHANTED ISLES' thumbnail

ENCHANTED ISLES [1943]

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The route to the Hebrides taken by Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Full length video available

1957

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'ERSKINE BRIDGE, the' thumbnail

ERSKINE BRIDGE, the [2254]

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The building of the Erskine Road Bridge. (21 mins)

Full length video available

1972

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'FACE OF SCOTLAND, the' thumbnail

FACE OF SCOTLAND, the [0034]

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One of a group of seven documentaries made for the 1938 Empire Exhibition under the supervision of John Grierson depicting the character of Scotland and its people.

Full length video available

1938

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'FESTIVAL IN EDINBURGH' thumbnail

FESTIVAL IN EDINBURGH [1493]

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Compilation of events, people and shows which helped to create the Edinburgh Festival.

Full length video available

1955

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'FETTES' thumbnail

FETTES [2207]

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Activities and events at Fettes College, Edinburgh including a visit by HM the Queen Mother.

Full length video available

1970

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'FORTH ROAD BRIDGE, the' thumbnail

FORTH ROAD BRIDGE, the [2208]

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The construction of the Forth Road Bridge from the initial survey to the official opening.

Full length video available

1965

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'FRASERS' RETURN, the' thumbnail

FRASERS' RETURN, the [0038]

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A Scots-Canadian emigrant family on their first return visit to Scotland, where they see industrial improvement due to the Scottish Electric Grid.

Full length video available

1963

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'FROM GLASGOW GREEN TO BENDIGO' thumbnail

FROM GLASGOW GREEN TO BENDIGO [2209]

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Carpet manufacturing processes in the Templeton factory, Glasgow.

Full length video available

1961

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'GARDENS BY THE SEA' thumbnail

GARDENS BY THE SEA [2894]

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The botanical gardens at Poolewe, Kirkcudbright, Port Logan, Culzean Castle, Arran, Ghia and Colonsay.

Full length video available

1973

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'GEORGE IV's EDINBURGH' thumbnail

GEORGE IV's EDINBURGH [2210]

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A reconstruction of George IV's visit to Edinburgh in 1822 drawing a contrast between the old town and the New Town which the King was able to see in development. (15 mins)

Full length video available

1960

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'GIVING VOICE: A Writer in the Classroom' thumbnail

GIVING VOICE: A Writer in the Classroom [3269]

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Poet and playwright Donald Campbell giving poetry workshops at Broughton High School, Edinburgh.

Full length video available

1976

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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 d

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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'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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