The BFI has entered into an agreement with Archbuild Entertainment Limited.
The agreement sees the BFI as the exclusive worldwide sales agent representing the historic and expanded Associated-Rediffusion Television catalog rights held by Archbuild.
BFI Head of Rights & Contracts J. Alan Davis, who secured and brokered the deal for the BFI:
“The BFI is delighted that we are now able to make this remarkable catalog culturally and commercially available, having aligned the Associated Rediffusion materials we have held in the BFI National Archives, with the underlying copyrights, owned by Archbuild. There is work to be done to fully assess the catalog and digitize the records and we have a truly amazing team at the BFI National Archives who will take care of this with diligence and aplomb.
A significant name in British television history, Associated-Rediffusion was the first commercial broadcaster in the UK to serve the London area on weekdays from September 22, 1955 to 1968.
Known for groundbreaking shows such as flagship current affairs series This week, Associated-Rediffusion’s cutting-edge programming provided a contemporary snapshot of the period, exploring hot topics such as racism, homosexuality, industrial unrest, the Profumo affair, Cold War tensions, the Vietnam and more.
The Associated-Rediffusion Catalog is an invaluable record of the beginnings of commercial television, containing material of enormous historical and contemporary interest to documentary filmmakers, scholars, archival television enthusiasts and the public.
It includes surviving editions of the two valuable pre-Python sketches Don’t adjust your set and Finally the 1948 show (both released on BFI DVD), dozens of one-offs, including material written by Harold Pinter and Joe Orton, sample experimental drama series Half hour story featuring the talents of writer Fay Weldon and director Alan Clark, as well as compelling interviews with prominent public figures such as Orson Welles, Robert Kennedy, Henry Fonda, Oswald Mosely and Ted Heath.
After the company’s demise in 1968, most of the surviving programs from Associated-Rediffusion’s catalog were deposited in the BFI’s National Archives, where the films have been kept and preserved ever since. One of the most significant television collections in the BFI National Archive, this exciting new agreement between Archbuild and BFI provides an investment in the collection to open access to Associated-Rediffusion’s catalogue. In addition to the franchise highlights available through the BFI, further work will take place to allow for broader research and rediscoveries of this historically important collection to come to the fore.
Paul Levinson, owner of Archbuild, and David Osterley, company director:
“We are extremely pleased to have entered into this agreement with the BFI, who are industry leaders in materials preservation and catalog sales, to make the most of the legacy of this extraordinary and valuable catalog.”