Martin Scorsese backs Scottish national film archive campaign

HOLLYWOOD legend Martin Scorsese has lent his backing to a fundraising campaign for a new home for Scotland's national film archive.

Martin Scorsese is backing a campaign to help the public enjoy more than 100 years of Scottish history on film. Picture: Brigitte Lacombe

The Oscar-winning director of films including Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and Goodfellas has called on the public to help fund the relocation of the National Library of Scotland’s moving image archive to Kelvin Hall in Glasgow.

The library plans to create facilities for viewing and studying its unique collection, which includes more than 46,000 amateur and professional films which reflect life, society, industry and culture in Scotland from the 1890s to today.

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It is hoped the new facility, which forms part of a wider redevelopment of the Kelvin Hall site, will encourage more Scots to access the archive.

Martin Scorsese is backing a campaign to help the public enjoy more than 100 years of Scottish history on film. Picture: Brigitte Lacombe

A final £250,000 instalment is needed to complete the move by the autumn.

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“Moving image archives hold our common memory,” said Scorsese, whose commitment to historic film saw him set up the World Cinema Foundation.

“Films shouldn’t be locked away and neglected in a vault somewhere. They need to be protected and preserved, but they also need to be seen, studied, and enjoyed.

The archive contains more than 46,000 films which capture Scottish society dating back to the 1890s

“I enthusiastically support the efforts to develop the Scottish moving image archive, and I urge you all to support this vitally important initiative.”

Scorsese is joined by Scots-born Hollywood film producer Iain Smith, actors Brian Cox, Alan Cumming and Bill Paterson, crime writer Ian Rankin and broadcaster Kirsty Wark in supporting the campaign.

The archive is currently housed in Hillington on the outskirts of Glasgow. Plans to transform Kelvin Hall into a new museum space and sports centre were first unveiled in 2013. Along with the film archive, it will also host the University of Glasgow’s internationally important Hunterian collection.

It will also contain the only surviving complete suite of interiors by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, originally built for Mrs Cranston’s famous Ingram Street tearooms.

Martin Scorsese is backing a campaign to help the public enjoy more than 100 years of Scottish history on film. Picture: Brigitte Lacombe

Those wishing to donate to the campaign can do so by visiting the project’s website.

The archive contains more than 46,000 films which capture Scottish society dating back to the 1890s