Image Films was formed in the 1970’s by a trio of cine enthusiasts. The name is derived from their initials, Ian, Mike And John Enterprises. The Logo, a Penrose Triangle, represents the three founders and the optical illusion that is film making. Originally Image Films used Super 8mm cine to make their epic movies, “The Horror of Letsby Avenue”, “Arthrug of the Britons”, “The Stone of Theln” and “To have and To Hold”. They also had a go at animation, “Self Portrait” and “An Evening In” being two of their award winning creations. Some of these can be viewed in Bradwell’s Bioscope.
Over the years a collection of films featuring the Isle of Wight were made and these formed the foundations of an Archive of Island footage spanning from the 1920’s to the present day. Image Films is now transferring this collection onto DVD and so far have released “Those Were The Days”, “England’s Eden”, “The Mellanby Collection”, “Carnival Cavalcade”, “Every Week Come Tuesday”, “One Week In August”, “Along The Shore”, “An Island Scrapbook”, “Yesterday’s Island”, “Ventnor Scrapbook”,”Wight Walks”, “Royal Wight” “Ryde 125”, “Technicolor Wight” and “Transport Of Delights”. Coming soon “Ryde Remembered” and “The Sound of Steam”
The Early Years
Since the early years of the 19th Century, when photography was invented, the scenes portrayed were staged for the camera and did not realistically depict everyday life. But, when movies began to appear in the 1890s a very exciting era was born. Images, although primitive by today’s standards, began to record life as it really was. This period was vividly portrayed in the recent TV series featuring the Mitchell and Kenyon collection of over 800 films that were commissioned between 1900 and 1913 by touring showmen with their Bioscope Booths in the days before cinemas. How many more collections of film are undiscovered?
The Isle of Wight Cine Club
In 1985 the Isle of Wight Cine Club decided to put on a show of early Isle of Wight film footage to celebrate the clubs 40th anniversary and in doing so the seeds were sown for the foundation of an Island Film Archive. This first show proved to be an almost embarrassing success, being staged at Newport’s Apollo Theatre and introduced by the celebrated presenter of Archive programmes, John Huntley. This was the start of a series of memorable shows presented by the club under the title of “An Evening of Nostalgia” and John Huntley went on to present all 33 of the succeeding shows. The second show, and all that followed were presented at the much larger Medina Theatre on the outskirts of Newport, the 420 seat capacity becoming very necessary. Following shows included various themes, drawing a good deal from “The Huntley Archives” (the largest archive of transport films in the world).