Lord Of The Rings

director Sir Peter Jackson will soon be using his brand of cinematic magic to resurrect forgotten footage of World War I.

His team have restored and hand-colourised films from Britain's Imperial War Museum so they are as powerful to today's audience as they would have been to people during the war.

Their transformation is part of a feature-length documentary created by arts organisation 14-18 NOW to mark 100 years since the Great War ended.


The landmark production will simultaneously premiere in October at the BFI London Film Festival 2018 and in cinemas across Britain.

It will then be screened on BBC One in November alongside a making-of documentary that will reveal how Jackson and his team at WingNut Films brought the 100-year-old films and audio back to life.

Jackson said: "I've always been fascinated by the First World War due to my own family history and the centenary felt like a unique opportunity to make a personal contribution to the commemoration."

The Oscar-winning director spent months immersed in war museum and BBC audio archives to discover aspects of the war that have never before been presented to the public.

Jackson added: "I wanted to find a way to bring new life to the stories of ordinary people living through extraordinary times."

It's not the first time the New Zealander has tried to immortalise a world war on film; for a decade, he has harboured hopes for a 3D remake of 1955 classic The Dam Busters.

Peter Jackson and his team have restored never-before-seen footage of World War I. Image / Wingnut Films
Peter Jackson and his team have restored never-before-seen footage of World War I. Image / Wingnut Films

Although that film hasn't yet come to fruition, the WWI project is guaranteed an audience, as every secondary school in the UK will receive a copy for the 2018 autumn term.

Jenny Waldman, Director of 14-18 NOW, said: "When Peter and I met, he said he wanted to create a piece of film that would bring the experience of the First World War to life for young people today, which is precisely our focus in this last season of 14-18 NOW."


Other highlights of the 14-18 NOW programme include a yet-to-be-announced project by fellow Oscar-winner Danny Boyle, which will take place across the UK on Armistice Day, and the unveiling of a statue of women's suffrage campaigner Millicent Fawcett, who will next month become the first woman to be commemorated in central London's Parliament Square.