Scotland's Moving Image Archive at National Library of Scotland preserves over 100 years of Scottish filmed history reflecting 20th century social, cultural and industrial heritage. The films capture the lives of ordinary people across the generations and celebrate the achievements of Scottish based film-makers.
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Gannets at Lerwick
Visit Lerwick harbour in 1946, as a mass of gannets spectacularly dive bomb into the water. A breathtaking amateur film from Theo Kay with fishing boats, birds and Shetland magic.
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Visit Lerwick harbour in Shetland in 1946, and watch with the fishermen as a mass of gannets dive bomb like vertical torpedoes into the water after the fish. Victoria Pier is bustling with fishing boats, ships and puffers, men with vans come and go, and the town hall, shops and houses overlook it all. A breathtaking amateur film from Shetlander Theo Kay that will enthrall bird lovers, Shetland enthusiasts and anyone curious about these remote, but unique and magical islands.
Inspired by Jenny Gilbertson’s films of Shetland, this short amateur film by her friend, Theo Kay, captures harbour life on the islands in the post-war era. Still a busy fishing port, Lerwick harbour is used by around 2,000 fishing boats every year, which land over 66,000 tonnes of fish with a value of over Ј62.5 million. The harbour has also evolved to support the oil and gas industry which developed during the 1970s, providing Shetland with one of the healthiest economies in the UK. The gannet colonies in Shetland are still thriving, with around 25-30,000 breeding pairs on the islands. They are able to enter the water from heights of up to 40m above, and can reach speeds of over 80 mph in their spectacular dives.
Non-Fiction 1927 4 mins Silent Location: Lerwick
Viking chieftains, flaming torches and outlandish costumes liven up a dark January day in Lerwick, Shetland, as the townsfolk celebrate 'Up Helly Aa'.
Sponsored film 1958 27 mins Location: Shetland Islands
Cruise on the steamer 'Meteor' for a magical 1950s journey to the wild and remote islands of Fair Isle, Shetland, Papa Stour, Foula, North Rona, St Kilda, Mingulay, Barra and Iona.
Action and Adventure 1923 28 mins Silent Location: Tilbury
Plotting world domination, Devil Doctor Fu-Manchu steals plans for a new aero-torpedo in this earliest surviving thrill-a-minute serial instalment.
Inside Film 2024 16 mins
Filmmakers Jane Giles and Ali Catterall discuss their documentary Scala!!!, revisiting the legendary and inspirational cinema venue and some of the most notorious films that screened there.
Drama 2023 2 mins
A group of young Black boys run into a building. One of them is about to do the unimaginable.
Romance 2023 2 mins
A queercore romance - a visceral and immersive exploration of the power of the mosh pit and finding love in the most unlikely of places.
Charity appeal 1939 10 mins
Long thought lost, this Powell-directed promotional short for a veteran’s charity was only rediscovered in 2003.
Documentary 1941 6 mins
A poignant, stirring letter from a recently deceased pilot to his mother is read by John Gielgud.