Anne Johnson and Julie Lewis want your footage. Lewis is the GM of Focal International and she runs the Focal International Awards. Johnson, Focal’s commercial manager, spoke with realscreen about why celebrating stock footage is important and what you can do to get yourself an award. With less than a month left to submit a production, the Focal International Awards deadline closes on December 1, leading up to the awards ceremony in London on May 5, 2009.
Johnson cites last year’s winners of the Best Use of Footage in Factual Productions, Andrew Marr’s History of Modern Britain, The Rape of Nanking and Being Jewish in France, as international winners that illustrate the eclectic, innovative footage that gets nominated.
Documentaries and factual garner three awards since the genre is so wide, and winners can span the genres of social history, current affairs and just about everything else.
‘There are no other awards that celebrate the use of footage,’ says Johnson. ‘We want to celebrate the use of footage and make more people aware that there is a massive amount of material out there to be used and to highlight this whole industry.’
Getting the word out about the awards and encouraging global submissions is something that Johnson stresses. ‘Obviously we want to have as many submissions from as many parts of the world as possible. We invite as many people to submit and we look forward to going through all of the submissions and good luck to the winners, basically.’
Focal receives quite a few documentaries but also has many researchers and stock footage libraries around the world asking people to submit their programs from 2008. Submissions forms can be found at www.focalint.org/focalawards.htm.