This film is part of Free

People from the Rotherham Photographic Society Exhibition at the Drill Hall

An intriguing and enigmatic early short film of photographers taking themselves as subjects having discovered the joys of moving image.

Amateur film 1914 2 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


An ‘actuality film’ taken on the eve of the First World War in 1914, when moving image was still something of a novelty, and making films a very exclusive affair. Perhaps not entirely sure how to present themselves, these Rotherham photographers choose the traditional marching in a single file and the classic group pose.

Nothing is exactly known about this film: who took it, when or where; or, indeed, who the people in the film are. It may be that someone in the Rotherham Photographic Society had recently acquired a cine camera and was putting it to the test, and thereby preserving for posterity images of the members of the Society. Photographic societies were usually the source from where amateur filmmakers and cine clubs would spring from, which looks like the case here.