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Digitising Doc Rowe: Crowdfunder and New Film about his Work

— Posted on 19th October 2023

Doc Rowe film and archive project

Fifth Column Films in Whitby have launched a Crowdfunder campaign to digitise and save some of Doc Rowe’s unique archive of recordings of UK seasonal events. The campaign will run until 17 November 2023 and aims to raise £25,000 to digitise his video and film material:

This project has the specific remit to digitise and transcode Doc’s film and video material related to folk traditions and calendar customs. Alongside the film and video material, Doc has a huge collection of sound recordings and photographs which also need a home. Additionally, he has an equivalent amount of material connected with traditional song, which is sadly also out of scope of this project. 

Please support the Crowdfunder by making a contribution and sharing this Doc Rowe appeal widely via your networks:  https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/docrowe

Fifth Column have also launched their new film about Doc Rowe and his work, after spending a year following him around the UK recording people doing traditional things at certain times of year:

This new feature documentary from Tim Plester and Rob Curry follows Doc Rowe over the course of a calendar year like no other. Having spent the last 60 years documenting the enduring folk customs of the British Isles, his obsessive, perennial ramblings were rudely interrupted by the outbreak of Covid-19. Picking up with him on Mayday 2021, the film follows Doc through the travails of the forthcoming year, as he tries to get back on the road despite a series of health issues and imposed lockdowns. Alongside this, Doc has reached a crossroads in his life, and his vast collection of audiovisual material is now too unwieldy to manage on his own. The film follows Doc as he tries to find a permanent home for it all, and cement not only his legacy but that of the customs he has dedicated his life to documenting. A timely celebration of the varied working-class communities that doggedly maintain the weird and wonderful events that Doc champions, the film is a patchwork portrait of modern Britain, which offers-up hope during this turbulent period of fracture and renewal.

Click here for a teaser from the new Fifth Column film