Peter Jackson launches new quest with Imperial War Museum

Robert Dex
New project: director Peter Jackson is tackling the difficulties of WWI in his new work: Getty Images

Director Peter Jackson has teamed up with the Imperial War Museum for his next film.

The Oscar-winning Lord Of The Rings filmmaker, 56, has spent hours poring over the museum’s archive footage of the First World War to make the film, which will have its premiere at the BFI London Film Festival later this year. It is part of 14-18 NOW, a countrywide project examining the impact of the conflict.

Jackson has digitised and colourised hundreds of hours of footage and is using new technology to improve its quality. Project director Jenny Waldman described the film as “not quite a documentary”, adding: “He’s not trying to teach us a history lesson. He’s trying to bring to us a sense of what it was for the men who were there.

“He has cleaned it so it looks as though it was made yesterday, you can see the men’s faces.

“One of the things that was moving was he said he wanted to bring the First World War to life for 15-year-olds. So we have a huge schools programme for this film and are sending a copy to every secondary school in the UK.” Jackson’s film will also be shown in cinemas and on BBC1.

The project’s events have included We’re Here Because We’re Here, in which hundreds of volunteers walked the streets dressed as First World War servicemen.