Northern Ireland Screen's Digital Film Archive is a free public access resource for teachers, students, historians and anyone who has an interest in moving images. Spanning from 1897 to the present day, the films in the Digital Film Archive cover all aspects of life in Northern Ireland and includes everything from dramas to documentaries, newsreels and features, animation to amateur footage.
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The Coming of the Black Dawn
Something sinister this way comes in one of The Spence Brothers earliest films.
Horror 1965 25 mins
From the collection of:
One of only a handful of Spence Brothers' films shot in black and white, The Coming of The Black Dawn combines stark, but atmospheric visuals with a nerve-shredding soundtrack. Their debt to H.P. Lovecraft is made clear in the naming of the demon, Cthula. Landmarks such as Helen's Tower and Tulynakill graveyard lend a touch of menace to proceedings.
Twin brothers Roy and Noel Spence have been making films like this for over fifty years; with subjects including crafty leprechauns, creatures from outer space, fifties rock 'n' rollers and the undead. You can enjoy many of these fantastical creations on BFI player. This film is courtesy of Roy Spence and is held in the Irish Film Archive.
Drama 1949 22 mins Silent
Prize-winning amateur film about the fleeting affair between a housewife and a young man on a summer day.
Amateur film 1954 4 mins Silent Location: High Wycombe
Silly silent film fun and thrills abound in this award-winning 1954 amateur short spoofing the world of Hollywood trailers.
Amateur film 1958 26 mins Location: South Kensington
A young angel scours London for her wings in this tender short by the young Ken Russell.
Amateur film 1965 19 mins Location: Harrow
Knitting comes in handy when making a film – a comical take on amateur filmmaking by the ladies of a local Pinner film club
Amateur film 1961 13 mins Silent
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 movie 1962 3 mins Silent 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.
Documentary 1963 31 mins Location: Derry / Londonderry
A family holiday in Northern Ireland begins an exciting quest into the life of a saint.
Documentary 1963 24 mins Location: Derry / Londonderry
Join a fearless crew on a spiritual maritime adventure from the shores of Derry to Iona.
Science Fiction 1980 18 mins Location: Strangford Lough
Who will triumph when a game of hide and seek turns into a campaign against nuclear power?
Dedication of Colours by the Lord Bishop of down and Dromore , June 22nd 1952 Dedication of Colours by the Lord Bishop of down and Dromore , June 22nd 1952
Promotional 1952 10 mins Silent Location: Newtownards
The Princess Royal inspects members of the Red Cross in a large dedication ceremony held in Newtownards
Sponsored film 1957 19 mins Location: Giant's Causeway
A quirky tour of Trust properties, from international landmarks such as the Giant's Causeway, to lesser known gems like Springhill House.
Fantasy 1972 24 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.
Documentary 2019 16 mins
Three years after their father passed, a family of four women come together through a series of phone calls spanning over three months.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 2017 4 mins
A comedy-drama animation about two best friends growing up in the same world but experiencing it completely differently.
Drama 2018 8 mins
Samona Olanipekun explores the concepts of home, identity and belonging, from the starting point of the theme of globalisation.
Drama 2017 16 mins
Compelling story of a complex relationship between an imperious father and his son.
Documentary 2020 28 mins
Three African American fathers unravel the incomparable partnership of forgiveness and community.
Music video 2019 8 mins
A conceptual film following musical artist Jords’ quest to serendipity. The Tree of Life’ is the cornerstone of the film as he battles to triumph through grief.
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