The National Library of Wales staff are celebrating early this Christmas, with the announcement that the director of the iconic film, Under Milk Wood (1972) has decided to gift the film to the care of the National Screen and Sound Archive, with a fantastic array of additional, accompanying material. Andrew Sinclair made the announcement last night at a showing of the film at The Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff, along with a display of photographs, scripts and original artefacts connected to the film’s production – all of which will be housed at the National Library and available for people to study and enjoy.
Andrew Green, Librarian National Library of Wales said:
‘This announcement is wonderful news for the Library and the timing couldn’t be better. Not only is the film 40 years old this year, but preparations are already under way to celebrate the centenary of Dylan Thomas’ birth in 2014. A number of collections connected to the poet have ‘come home’, for the benefit of the nation over the last few years, and this collection of material has the potential to enrich those celebrations in an unique way. We are extremely grateful to Dr. Sinclair for his kindness and for deciding that the national collection is the appropriate home for these wonderful items.’
The Library also welcomes the wise and far-reaching decision to set up a Trust to deal with all matters of the film’s rights, so that the income is ploughed back into cultural and educational schemes to do with the film.
Andrew Green added:
‘This kind of public benefit is extremely important to the Library that cares for its treasures not only for its own sake, but so that people can view and make use of them. It also coincides with exciting plans by the National Screen and Sound Archive to work with schools and community groups based on the Archive’s collection of films – so we look forward to working closely with the Milkwood Trust, and colleagues at BAFTA Cymru and the BBC – I’m sure this partnership will spark some creative projects that can inspire a new generation of film-makers and others.’
The beauty of this donation is that it is the whole package, a complete resource for all types of users. Not only the film, but the history of making the film in the Fishguard area, with correspondence and scripts – and with the mark of some extraordinary actors - Burton, Taylor, Phillips, Ryan Davies and O’Toole, and many others – literally to be seen on these items.
We look forward to welcoming Captain Cat, Polly Garter, Mrs Ogmore Pritchard and their friends to their new home in Aberystwyth.
Elin Hâf, NLW Press Office 01970 632535 post(at)llgc.org.uk
The National Screen and Sound Archive 01970 632828