What is the Digital Film Archive? Essentially the Digital Film Archive is a viewable, searchable database of movies, photographs, and supplementary information. It currently has hundreds of hours of film footage and contains almost 5000 items in total.

Who is Northern Ireland Screen? Northern Ireland Screen is the government-backed lead agency in Northern Ireland for the film, television, and digital content industry, driving global growth through boosting our economy, celebrating our culture, and enhancing our children’s education. For more information for who we are and what we do please visit: www.northernirelandscreen.co.uk

How do I use this website? This website can be used to access and view the majority of the footage available on the Digital Film Archive. Use the tabs along the top of the home page to Browse the archive by categories, dates, or locations; or use the Collections section to select films on a specific subject or by a certain filmmaker. You can also use the Search and Advanced Search facilities to look for material.

What else does the new website offer? Using the new website’s Playlist feature, you can create and save a playlist of your favourite archive films. This list will only be temporarily saved to the computer that was used to access the website, unless you become a member, in which case the list will be saved in your account and can be accessed from any computer once you have signed in. Please note this is not the same as downloading a piece of film, as the film itself will not be saved onto your computer.

Why can I not download film from the website? Downloading, capturing, or otherwise recording film footage from the Digital Film Archive website is a breach of copyright and not permitted.

What is Copyright? Copyright is, “the exclusive and assignable legal right, given to the originator for a fixed number of years, to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material” (Oxford English Dictionary). For more information on copyright, what it is and how long it lasts for, visithttps://www.gov.uk/intellectual-property/copyright

Can I purchase a copy of the Digital Film Archive on DVD? No. Copyright restrictions inhibit us from copying or distributing the Digital Film Archive. Attempting to copy the material from the Digital Film Archive, without written permission from the relevant copyright holder, will jeopardize the entire project. It also simply would not be practical. The Digital Film Archive is just too big. Comparing memory capacity, a DVD holds about 4.7GB of memory; the Digital Film Archive takes up hundreds of GBs presently and that will increase as new content is added to the Digital Film Archive.

If I own a film/footage, do I own the copyright? Unless you made the film, or you have been assigned or bought the rights from the original creator or owner of the film, then no, you do not own the copyright. Purchasing a film (DVD, tape, reel etc) does not make you the copyright owner. If you were employed and created a piece of film as part of your work, you do not own the copyright. The rights remain with your employer.

How can I get a copy of a film on the Digital Film Archive? If you wish to obtain a copy of film from the archive, you will first need to obtain written permission from the relevant copyright holder(s). The names of the copyright holders are provided with each film. Contact details for many of the institutions and production companies that have provided footage for the Digital Film Archive can be found online. Please note that Northern Ireland Screen is not permitted to release the contact details for any copyright holder who is a member of the public. For further queries regarding copyright, please contact Francis@northernirelandscreen.co.uk or telephone 028 9023 2444.

Is the Digital Film Archive free to use? The Digital Film Archive is free to access at each of the Digital Film Archive locations (see Locations page), as is the Digital Film Archive Outreach Programme (see below). Workshops, screenings, or any activities involving the Digital Film Archive are also free of charge.

How to Deposit Film with the Digital Film Archive: Northern Ireland Screen is continuously looking for new and exciting film footage from Northern Ireland to add to the Digital Film Archive. Whether you are an amateur, or professional filmmaker, and have made films in, or about Northern Ireland that you think would be of interest to us, please email Francis@northernirelandscreen.co.uk and we will arrange to view your film. Unfortunately, as Northern Ireland Screen does not maintain a physical archive, we are unable to store reels of film. Should a donor wish to have their film stored permanently in archive conditions, Northern Ireland Screen will advise them of the options available.