Creative Archive Licence Group

bfi downloads success story

The British Film Institute (bfi) is delighted to report that the first four clips it made legally available under the Creative Archive Licence at launch on 13th April have already attracted more than 3,000 downloads.

The most popular clip to date to be downloaded from the bfi’s website is from the 1921 film, Doesn't It Look Jolly? Featuring a troupe of dancers performing on a beach at Pourville, France the black and white clip received around 1,150 requests or just over a third of the total downloads. The second most popular excerpt, from the 1905 film Our New Errand Boy has been downloaded more than 1000 times while the ghost scene, one of two clips released from a 1913 version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, is proving to be the third most popular clip, having been downloaded more than 500 times in just under two weeks.

The bfi are hoping that two new film excerpts added last week will attract a similar amount of interest as a new generation of media users around the UK starts to explore the creative potential of this copyright-free shared resource. The first of these newly-released clips, the 1962 British Transport film, Let's Go To Birmingham, directed by Jack West, is already proving popular; in just three days it was downloaded almost 200 times. Showing the speeded-up driver's-eye view of the rail track on the London to Birmingham (via Leamington Spa) run of the Blue Pullman, the bfi expects that film to be appreciated by railway enthusiasts but– set as it is to the accompaniment of Johann Strauss's 'Perpetuum Mobile' – believe it may also be popular with VJ and AV artists too.

The clip from Daisy Doodad's Dial, a 9 minute British film directed by Florence Turner, produced by Turner Film Company starring Florence Turner and Larry Trimble) shows Daisy practicing for a face-pulling competition and getting herself arrested and may be a hit with comedy-fans.

Richard Paterson, Head of Knowledge at the British Film Institute (bfi), said “The truth is that at the moment we don’t know who’s using these clips. We want to discover more about them and find out what other material they would like us to release. This project will become exciting when the other members of the Creative Archive Licence Group make their material available, we’ll be able to compare material use and see what the public’s demands are.”

The bfi plans to release further moving image material from the bfi National Film and Television Archive over the course of the 18-month pilot. At the launch of the Creative Archive Licence, Director of the British Film Institute (bfi), Amanda Nevill, said: “The Creative Archive Licence is an important step forward in enabling people to create their own works and explore the potential of digital film-making.”

bfi material available at


5 Rules of the Creative Archive Licence
  • No commercial use
    No commercial use
  • Share alike
    Share alike
  • Give credit
    Give credit
  • No endorsement
    No endorsement
  • UK only
    UK only
Clips are available to download from:

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