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11/07/2013

Hitchcock Awarded UNESCO Status

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Nine silent films by legendary director Alfred Hitchcock have been added to the UNESCO UK Memory of the World Register.
Some of Hitchcock's earliest films have been screened around the world since premiering in BFI National Archive restorations during the London 2012 festival.
The list is as follows:
The Pleasure Garden (Mar 1926)
The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (Sep 1926)
Downhill (May 1927)
Easy Virtue (Aug 1927)
The Ring (Sep 1927)
The Farmer's Wife (Mar 1928)
Champagne (Aug 1928)
The Manxman (Jan 1929)
Blackmail (Aug 1929) – silent version
All nine works will screen again at BFI Southbank during August 2013.
Moscow, Bologna and Berlin are also part of a major worldwide reappraisal of Hitchcock’s early films and they will screen in other major cities including Washington, San Francisco and Los Angeles as part of a US national tour.
This is the third group of inscriptions to the UNESCO UK Memory of the World Register, an online catalogue created to help promote the UK’s documentary heritage across the UK and the world.
The register is part of a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) programme to support and raise awareness of archives.
"This year’s inscriptions reflect the richness of UK culture and history, from medieval manuscripts to ground breaking cinema," said David Dawson, Chair of the UK Memory of the World Committee.
"We hope that today’s announcement will encourage people to discover these items and collections, as well as some of the other great documentary heritage near them."
Robin Baker, Head Curator, BFI National Archive said: "We are very pleased to see that the early films from one of the world’s best known film-makers are taking their place alongside some of the greatest cultural artefacts of the United Kingdom. Film culture is too often overlooked in summaries of British cultural heritage. We are delighted that Hitchcock’s first nine films, all silent, are now inscribed in the UNESCO UK Memory of the World Register. The BFI National Archive’s painstaking restorations are attracting not only new audiences around the world but the acclaim of the international community as important works of world cultural note."
The official inscription reads: "Hitchcock's Silent Films – British Film Institute National Archive, London. While Alfred Hitchcock is one of the most famous film directors of all time, his first ten silent films – nine of which survive – are little known compared to his later work. These films are among the greatest achievements of British silent cinema, and are blueprints for the rest of his body of work."
www.unesco.org.uk/ukregister
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