Ever dreamed of shooting your own movie? These pre-digital cine-enthusiasts did - with all the passion and devotion of the true auteur.
These low- (or no-) budget creations reach beyond simple point-and-shoot, back-garden efforts towards something more ambitious and skilful, revealing their authors' passion for film and their often astonishing ingenuity with limited resources. No desktop editing software or digital special effects for these amateur auteurs. The films include fiction and documentary, competition prizewinners and private labours of love. They may be the work of cine-clubbers or individual enthusiasts. But they all show a devotion to filmmaking that far transcends hobbyism. So look out for the delightful handmade intertitles, table-top special effects and library soundtracks which decorate many of the quirky stories, ultra-local documentaries and painstakingly composed home movies featured here.
Amateur film196113 mins
Tired little Jocelyn, in her National Health specs, falls asleep in the garden and wakes up in Wonderland in this amateur re-telling of Lewis Carroll's classic.
Home movie19623 mins Location: Castleford
A young magician impresses his sister by making a dog appear from under a bucket, and by demonstrating the magic of film itself.
Documentary195118 mins Location: Exmouth
Filmmaking that is both educational and fun with this highly accomplished amateur film of the Devon coast, and its inhabitants, before it became overloaded with holidaymakers.
Amateur film196910 mins Location: Leeds
The disappointment of youthful love, as the gritty realism of the early 1960s stands in stark contrast with the fantasies of the later 1960s.
Amateur film193213 mins Location: Bournemouth
In this bizarre 1932 short film produced by the Bournemouth Cine Society, a swastika pendant becomes a plot device in a kidnapping drama.
Amateur film193310 mins Location: Wimborne Minster
The Hand of Fate is cruel indeed in this minor tragedy from the Bournemouth Cine Society - featuring lovers, letters and suspension bridges
Documentary197828 mins Location: Bradford
For the very last time Albert, at 73, makes the work of weaving the large willow bobbin baskets, skeps, look easy, having devoted his entire working life to perfecting his art.
Documentary197311 mins Location: Bolton Abbey
The ancient battle between farmers and sheep rustlers provides a job for life for a blacksmith fabricating the branding lettering of farmers.
Documentary197010 mins Location: Bingley
The quirks of a whippet race, with novices in winklepickers learning from the old hands, all fully elucidated in broad West Yorkshire dialect.
Amateur film193711 mins Location: Flamborough
The waves gently lapping on the shore, seagulls gliding through the air, a perfect photographic morning, until that is, the family arrive!
Amateur film195711 mins Location: Queensbury
The excitement of making this crime caper is clearly seen in the acting of these kids from a village junior school, as they chase the robbers across fields overlooking the Dales.
Home movie192420 mins Location: Cherkley Court
The 20s elite let their guard down... Amateur antics from media baron Lord Beaverbrook and friends, including HG Wells and Rebecca West.
Amateur film193711 mins Location: Kensington
Shocking scenes of Kensington slums and 1930s housing developments offer a sharp contrast with today's reinvented area.
Training film/TV programme19437 mins Location: Wealdstone
An unusual, poignant piece of wartime correspondence showing how movies can be used to comfort those who are far away.
Travelogue193820 mins Location: Harris/Na Hearadh
A starkly beautiful portrait of crofting life in Flodabay on the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides.
Amateur film193716 mins Location: Cornwall
A map that leads to treasure and trouble: John, Mary and Anne go in search of Jack Mundy's loot only to find that his map wasn't quite complete.
Amateur film19479 mins Location: Newtown
A Geoff Charles film showing how “the men of Llanwddyn broke their way out for bread” after a great blizzard hit Britain in January 1947.
Documentary197624 mins Location: Saltaire
Back to Victorian times: a rich employer provides decent housing, a hospital, a library, a school, a boathouse, almshouses and public baths.
Amateur film193417 mins Location: Nottingham
A biplane, car chase and steam express train all feature in this pre-war 16mm thriller that stretches the ambition and art of the amateur film maker.
Home movie19376 mins Location: Plas Newydd
What dreams may come when a treasured possession is aggressively broken? Unfinished drama starring Anglesey’s Earl of Uxbridge as a poor boy.
Amateur film194817 mins Location: Welwyn Garden City
One of the ten winning films of 1948 awarded a 'silver plaque' by 'Amateur Cine World' magazine - a significant achievement for the makers, the Film Society of Welwyn Garden City.
Amateur film193828 mins Location: Ingoldisthorpe
Thrilling pirate adventure made by a preparatory schoolmaster and starring some of his schoolchildren, who apprehend dangerous smugglers.
Amateur film19379 mins Location: Ingoldisthorpe
A bumbling vicar steals the scene in this short chase film; a silent comedy set in a Norfolk village, featuring many of the villagers.
Amateur film193812 mins Location: Ingoldisthorpe
Charming fantasy adventure filmed by a prep schoolmaster and starring the pupils at the school. Schoolboys search for a fairytale princess.
Amateur film19948 mins Location: Harlesden
A female protagonist falls prey to the ‘Shadowman’, who stalks his victim before attack. Uses stop-motion animation as well as live action.
Science Fiction196426 mins Location: Comber
A strange old hermit uses witchcraft to give life to the Frankenstein monster. Will the creature be his instrument of revenge, or will it turn on its creator?
Fantasy196925 mins Location: Bangor
A young man is left an old mansion in his uncle’s will. Too late he discovers that he's also inherited a legacy of witchcraft and demonology!
Fantasy197224 mins Location: Newtownards
Alien outcasts run amok on planet Earth in Roy Spence's sci-fi romp, a film that draws on the lo-fi charm of Ed Wood and Roger Corman.
Science Fiction197521 mins Location: Comber
Beware as the all-consuming creature from outer space embarks on a rampage of horror and death in this World Amateur Film of The Year.
Student film197225 mins Location: Sheffield
This bizarre science fiction film made by students at Sheffield University gives a great insight into the mindset and aesthetic of the early 1970s.
Animation & Artists Moving Image197610 mins Location: South Shields
A boy and his cat make mischief in the snow at South Shields in this captivating hand-drawn childrens animation created by Sheila Graber.
Animation & Artists Moving Image198610 mins Location: North Tyneside
An exuberant animated short celebrates writer Sid Chaplins short story about the defiant spirit of an old miner who finds his beloved pigeon loft is under threat.
Animation & Artists Moving Image19885 mins Location: South Shields
Barbie dolls in pink battle khaki killing machines in a Christmas animation that cocks a snook at the “Disney Doctrine”.
Amateur film195512 mins
Pity poor Bonzo. Bought by a couple who quickly tire of his doggie antics, he's now the object of murderous intentions. But can Bonzo redeem himself in time to save his skin?
Amateur film195610 mins
A decade before the BBC's version of M R James supernatural classic came this chilling version from the North Downs Cinematograph Society
Amateur film19515 mins
Amateur award-winning dramatic thriller influenced by 1940s Universal Horror movies and made by husband and wife team John and Dede Wright.
Amateur film193117 mins Location: Bournemouth
Sheila sees the folly of her ways when husband, John, is to be hanged for murdering her paramour, but once trusty Bill from the CID is on the case, the real killer is soon unmasked
Comedy19650 mins Location: Derry / Londonderry
Who is this mysterious man causing chaos in the city of a 1000 rumours? Watch tonight’s feature from Alfred Hiccup to discover Derry’s hidden world.
Amateur film19797 mins Location: Eastbourne
A sophisticated bookish blonde proves to be a murderer’s nemesis in this atmospheric thriller-with-a-twist from the Eastbourne Cine Group
Amateur film19317 mins Location: Kingsgate Bay
This gruesome tale from the Barnes Brothers is a warning to parents as a young child falls prey to a band of cliff dwelling murderous outlaws
Amateur film193714 mins Location: Eltham
A pair of kidnappers are no match for the derring-do Boy Scouts of Eltham - in this amateur action thriller from the Eltham Cine Society
Amateur film193010 mins Location: Hampshire
This inventive comedy double-bill is more than your average home movie - with its tale of two young pranksters getting their just deserts
Amateur film19598 mins Location: Surrey
There are echoes of Fritz Lang in this short film about a shadowy figure following a child through woodland - but what is his true purpose?
Drama196612 mins Location: Hunslet
A young man rambles in his winklepickers in rundown Leeds brooding on the ennui of a 1960s Sunday, and on his disillusionment with religion.