They Shall Not Grow Old to premiere at LFF

Peter Jackson's World War One doc gets gala screening.

by Amber Wilkinson

They Shall Not Grow Old added to LFF line-up
They Shall Not Grow Old added to LFF line-up Photo: Courtesy of London Film Festival

Lord Of The Rings director Peter Jackson will attend this year's London Film Festival with the world premiere of his World War One documentary They Will Not Grow Old.

Co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, and Imperial War Museums, the film has been created with original footage from Imperial War Museums’ film archive and audio from BBC archives.The footage has been colourised, converted to 3D and transformed with modern production techniques to present never before seen detail.

In addition to screening at the festival on October it will be simultaneously shown at a number of additional venues across the UK. The simulcast will also feature a Q&A with the director, hosted by film critic Mark Kermode.

BFI London Film Festival artistic director Tricia Tuttle said: “A hundred years after the First World War, we know much about the horrific impact of this conflict on its soldiers, especially the brutal scale of the casualties which decimated a generation, but Peter’s film offers new understanding of the human experience of life at the front. Using original audio and moving image archive he allows the soldiers to tell their own stories. The work his team have done on the materials, adding colour and converting to 3D, is painstaking and beautiful. It makes these people from 100 years ago seem so alive and gives an uncanny sense the footage was shot recently. It’s an honour to host the world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival.”

Jackson added: “I wanted to reach through the fog of time and pull these men into the modern world, so they can regain their humanity once more – rather than be seen only as Charlie Chaplin-type figures in the vintage archive film. By using our computing power to erase the technical limitations of 100 year cinema, we can see and hear the Great War as they experienced it.”

The festival runs from October 10 to 21.

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