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Patrick Russell

Patrick heads the non-fiction team at the BFI National Archive, where he has worked since 2000 and has led several major archival projects drawing on the British tradition of documentary and non-fiction filmmaking.

Patrick’s curatorial specialism is the history of industrial and sponsored film, and their equivalents in today’s contemporary corporate media. Among the archive’s rich holdings in this field, he cites as his favourite the film and video collection of the National Coal Board.

He co-edited the books Shadows of Progress: Documentary Film in Post-war Britain (2010) and The Lost World of Mitchell and Kenyon (2004) and is the author of 100 British Documentaries (2007) and several chapters in edited collections.

Patrick can be contacted at:

Articles by Patrick Russell

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  • Child bereavement campaign triumphs at the Charity Film Awards 2019

    The 2019 Charity Film Awards celebrated the variety and creative quality of the charitable sector’s short filmmaking, with the night’s main prize going to Child Bereavement UK’s film about loss, grief and rememberance.

    Thursday, May 2, 2019


  • Shooting the message #27: Brickwall

    What began as a scattergun startup developed into an inspired player in the world of agency filmmaking, with clients including the London Olympics, Greenpeace and the NHS. BFI curator Patrick Russell tells the Brickwall story.

    Monday, February 19, 2018


  • Shooting the message #26: Raw London

    From experiments in 360 video to an award-winning campaign film about domestic abuse, Raw London is making waves in the world of agency filmmaking. In the latest in our series about the world of corporate filmmaking, curator Patrick Russell tells their story.

    Tuesday, January 16, 2018


  • Shooting the message #25: Embolden

    Inside the production company behind the viral ‘Run, Hide, Tell’ counter-terrorism campaign video, which has been viewed by 7 million people and counting.

    Tuesday, October 3, 2017


  • Shooting the message #24: Gorilla Gorilla!

    Curator Patrick Russell continues our survey of trends in the corporate film sector with a look at an agency whose clients have included Sainsbury’s, HSBC and tokyobike.

    Monday, September 25, 2017


  • Socially conscious films triumph at the EVCOM Screen Awards 2017

    Kayleigh’s Love Story, a viral police film warning of the danger of online grooming, has won top prize at the ‘Oscars for specialist video’ in a year when serious, social themes dominated.

    Monday, June 26, 2017


  • Five pioneering women behind the camera during the Second World War

    The story of how five determined women filmmakers broke down barriers to support the war effort.

    Friday, May 12, 2017


  • Film that saved babies’ lives wins best charity film award

    Celebrating short-form filmmaking across the charity sector, the first Charity Film Awards gave top prize to a St John Ambulance film teaching people how to deal with a choking baby. 

    Thursday, March 16, 2017


  • Memories from the mine: the day I filmed Paul Robeson

    One day in 1949, the iconic actor and singer Paul Robeson made a visit to a coal mine near Edinburgh to perform for the miners. The National Coal Board sent a camera crew to record the performance, which director Peter Pickering recalls in this exclusive new interview nearly 70 years later.

    Tuesday, January 24, 2017


  • Shooting the message #23: Pretzel Films

    In the latest in our occasional series looking at big hitters in the world of modern agency filmmaking, curator Patrick Russell looks at the auteurist approach that gives bite to the work of Pretzel Films, whose past clients include Swarovski, Primark and Network Rail.

    Monday, January 9, 2017


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