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.
This film is part of Free
Northern Ireland takes great pride in its boat building heritage, watch masters at work in Portaferry with news rushes from Ulster Television
From the collection of:
Portaferry is a home of Weatherly Yachts renowned for their quality fibreglass boats that go by the name of Ruffian. The original Ruffian was a 33ft Ocean Racer designed and built by brothers Dickie and Billy Brown in 1969-70. Most of Billy’s designs were born in creative bursts around 3am. “When I can think most clearly as at that time the ether isn’t clustered with other people’s ideas”. Ruffian was an immense success that started the remarkable family business in this film.
Billy describes her first voyage “In the first week of May 1971 Ruffian took to the sea in a lovely coat of deep royal blue paint. She was in her element. She floated to her water lines to an extent I could only have hoped for. I steered her out to a moorings under engine and was amazed at how responsive she was to the tiller. She is magic.” Weatherly Yachts built over 200 yachts during 1970’s and 1980’s. This had a great impact on the local sailing scene and fleets of Ruffians can be found in Ireland, Hong Kong and scattered around the globe. Dickie, who turned Billy’s designs into reality, devoted his career towards increasing the prosperity and quality of life in Portaferry. This material is courtesy of the UTV Archive.
Comedy 1968 29 mins Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
A Tyne Tees Television comedy romance is a forgotten gem from a 1960s decade of radical urban change in Newcastle.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1990 24 mins
Autobiographical account of a mother-daughter relationship, exploring beauty standards and female sexuality.
Instructional film/TV programme 1977 21 mins
In this surrealist short, John Krish and Michael Gilmour tell a perilous tale at the railway station. Mind the gap - this is going to get scary.
News 1973 6 mins Location: Walsall
The sights and sounds of Walsall Market
Home movie 1955 8 mins Silent Location: Llanddwyn Island/Ynys Llanddwyn
Sea pinks and samphire, lighthouses and church ruins – Llanddwyn’s charms are many and varied.
Documentary 2023 23 mins
BAFTA-winning director Mark Jenkin (BAIT, Enys Men) explores his fascination with the magic of film.
Home movie 1964 19 mins Silent Location: Mourne Mountains
A smugglers route becomes a jolly holiday hike in this home movie from the Mourne country.
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.