British Pathé reclaims North American rights to its newsreel collection
British Pathé press release.
British Pathé, the world-famous newsreel archive, has this month reclaimed exclusive control over its historic collection in North America. This marks the first time in twenty-five years that all media professionals in these territories will be able to license footage from British Pathé directly rather than dealing with its former third-party representative, the WPA Film Library.
Richard Goldthorpe, 34, was appointed to oversee British Pathé’s fledgling North American licensing service when some of the rights returned to the company in 2014. As British Pathé’s first Business Development Manager for North America, Goldthorpe now finds himself responsible for the entire North American market.
“It’s a real coup to have the exclusive rights back in our hands,” says Goldthorpe. “These films belong with the company that created them, and I’m really looking forward to working with producers and researchers in getting them seen by a wider American audience.”
Goldthorpe has extensive licensing experience, having worked at ITN Source, BBC Motion Gallery and Freemantle Media. He joined British Pathé in 2009 with responsibility for UK broadcasters, chiefly the BBC.
“It’s an exciting time to be engaging with the North American market,” Goldthorpe continues, referring to the unprecedented quality of recent documentaries and the multitude of important anniversaries, such as the Irish Easter Rising and War of Independence.
“What is more,” he adds, “the centenary of America’s entry into the Great War is on the horizon. We have one of the best collections of First World War footage anywhere in the world – from zeppelins and u-boats to the horrors of the trenches and American troops on the Western Front.”
Rare among archives, every frame of British Pathé’s 85,000 newsreels, documentaries and cinemagazines is viewable and searchable online. Crucially, this resource is complemented by free, 24/7 screener downloads, saving clients time and money at the offline edit stage.
Other services proven in the UK that will now be available to all North American customers include a free and comprehensive bespoke research service, same-day delivery of broadcast quality material and HD transfers from the original 35mm film.
“The archive is really strong in its coverage of North American politics and culture,” says Goldthorpe. “But for me, what makes us unique in the marketplace is our British focus and perspective on world events.” For instance, British Pathé is the definitive source for anything on the Royal Family in the twentieth century.
Any North American customer can begin licensing from British Pathé immediately.
British Pathé was once a dominant feature of the British cinema experience, renowned for first-class reporting and an informative yet uniquely entertaining style. Now considered to be the finest newsreel archive in the world, British Pathé is a treasure trove of 85,000 films unrivalled in historical and cultural significance. Spanning the years from 1896 to 1976, the collection includes footage from around the globe of major events, famous faces, fashion trends, travel, science and culture. It is an invaluable resource for broadcasters, documentary producers, and archive researchers worldwide.