First World War film’s screening at Welwyn Garden City cinema

Colourised footage of They Shall Not Grow Old by WingNut Films with Peter Jackson. Original black and white film copyright IWM

Colourised footage of They Shall Not Grow Old by WingNut Films with Peter Jackson. Original black and white film copyright IWM


There will be a special screening of a WW1 film at the Welwyn Garden City Cinema this week to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.

On Tuesday, October 16, the Campus West-based cinema will broadcast live from BFI Southbank where Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson will present the world premiere of his extraordinary new work, They Shall Not Grow Old.

The film uses the voices of veterans combined with original archive footage to bring to life the reality of war on the front line for a whole new generation.

Footage has been colourised, converted to 3D and transformed with modern production techniques to present the Great War as never before seen.

Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson said: “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.”

They Shall Not Grow Old has been created exclusively with original footage from Imperial War Museums’ film archive and audio from BBC archives.

Tricia Tuttle, BFI London Film Festival artistic director 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.”

The special presentation of the film and a live Q&A with the director, hosted by film critic Mark Kermode, will be beamed into cinemas across the UK.

Audiences across the country will be able to submit questions to Peter Jackson in advance by Twitter for the live Q&A, taking place after the screening.

Welwyn Hatfield councillor Terry Mitchinson, executive member for leisure, culture and communications, said: “The cinema at Campus West is a real asset to our borough and prides itself on showing special screenings alongside new releases and independent films.

They Shall Not Grow Old promises to give viewers a fascinating new insight into the lives of veterans on the front line, something that will be especially poignant as we approach the centenary of the war’s end.”

• Book your ticket now online at

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