Sir Alan Parker, one of Britain’s most distinguished filmmakers has donated his entire working archive to the BFI National Archive. The collection covers over 45 years of filmmaking, from his early work as a commercials director for television, through to his career as an internationally renowned, award-winning director of some of the finest films of the period, from Bugsy Malone (1976) and Midnight Express (1978) to Mississippi Burning (1988) and Angela’s Ashes (1999) interspersed with a string of hugely popular musicals including Fame(1980), Pink Floyd – The Wall (1982), The Commitments (1991) and Evita (1996). To celebrate the donation, BFI Southbank will host a Focus On Sir Alan Parker from 24 September to 4 October, including a special on stage event, Sir Alan Parker and Lord Puttnam Unplugged, on 24 September, and an exhibition of his work.
The Sir Alan Parker archive covers every period of his career, starting with his work as an advertising copywriter. All of his features are represented, with a wealth of scripts, production papers, promotional materials, posters and Parker’s own filmmaking diaries, offering a hugely important resource for students of film and television. The archive also includes a particularly rich collection of photographs and production stills, by photographers including Greg Williams, Mary Ellen Mark, Terry O’Neill and David Appleby, documenting his films to an exceptional degree.
Nathalie Morris, Senior Curator – Special Collections, BFI said, “This is an exceptionally rich archive charting the work of a British filmmaker who has had a hugely successful international career. Sir Alan Parker is one of several distinctive talents to emerge from a very particular place and moment – the British advertising industry of the late 60s and early 70s. His archive will provide a wealth of insights into his working process as a writer and director, as well enhancing our understanding of the film industry,and filmmaking, over the past 40 years. The BFI National Archive is delighted to be preserving this archive for the nation. We are incredibly grateful to Sir Alan for his generous donation.”
Sir Alan Parker said, “It seems that I’ve accumulated an awful lot of stuff over forty years of filmmaking and I can’t think of a better home for it that the BFI National Archive. As a past chairman of the BFI, I know how everything is so diligently cared for out at Berkhamsted and it’s good to know it’s in safe hands and will be available to future students of film.”
The collection which comprises over 70 large document boxes has been transported to the BFI National Archive at Berkhamsted where it will be stored in optimal archival conditions. Once catalogued, the archive will be open to the public, with selected material being digitised for access.