Sam Hanna was a Burnley-born amateur filmmaker whose collection of over 500 reels of mostly 16mm film was acquired by the North West Film Archive in November 2005.
Sam Hanna had a lifelong passion for making films. Born in 1903, he became a teacher of handicrafts and, against strong opposition from the education authorities, pioneered the use of film in the classroom. Sam was also an inventor - developing new techniques for screening and editing films such as the daylight screen, the Loop Absorber and the Effects Box.
Self taught, Hanna's filmmaking spanned six decades, from the 1930s to the 1980s. He is perhaps best known for the Old Crafts Series which forms a unique record of such long-forgotten crafts as brush-making, coopering, clog-making, and charcoal burning. Also of great interest are his films of local events and customs, notably colour footage of the 'Busby Babes' in 1957, records of children's street games from the 1950s and footage of training exercises performed by his local Home Guard battalion during World War Two. Following specialist preservation and cataloguing work, the collection has now become accessible for research and public access.
Through 2009/10, the legacy of Sam Hanna has been brought to life again through online access, exhibitions, screenings and workshops. This new project has linked the North West Film Archive with partners in Lancashire Museums, Libraries and Record Offices, Towneley Hall Museum, and MMU's Manchester Centre for Public History and Heritage. It has been enabled by an award of £40,000 from Vision+Media and the UK Film Council's Digital Film Archive Fund supported by the National Lottery.
The Sam Hanna Collection has now been integrated into the North West Film Archive's main Film & Video Catalogue - click here to perform a search.