British Film Institute Makes Its Archive Available Online
Jury, Louise, The Independent (London, England)
The first forays into film by directors including Tony and Ridley Scott and Stephen Frears are to be made available for download, as the British Film Institute puts its massive archive online.
For a charge of a few pounds, works that are rarely seen as well as more famous movie releases such as Peter Green a way's The Draughtsman's Contract will be made accessible to fans.
There are 230,000 films, short films and documentaries in the National Film and Television Archive which the BFI administers, in addition to 675,000 television programmes.
But only 35 items are available in the first tranche of downloads. In addition to the shorts by Frears and the Scotts, these include Burning an Illusion, which was the second British film with a black director, and silent movie classics such as Charlie Chaplin's The Pawnshop.
The BFI admitted it currently does not have the funding to be able to transfer the entire archive from film to the digital format required for online access at www.bfi.org.uk. So only a few works will be added to the site each month.
AmandaNevill, the BFI's director, said: "We are well on the way to meeting the challenge of opening up this extraordinary resource even more and working to exploit the enormous potential offered by new tech-