Next generation of filmmakers commissioned to tell NHS untold film stories

Marking 75 years of the NHS, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and BFI have partnered to fund three new short films inspired by the BFI National Archive’s ‘NHS on Film’ Collection.

These new films, which will be up to 15 minutes long and are currently in production, will help to tell untold stories of the NHS. They either respond directly to the archive NHS on Film collection or creatively reuse extracts from a curated selection of films preserved by the BFI to reflect on the gaps in the story of the NHS.

Each filmmaking team will involve the public in their creative process, working with local communities or partner organisations to tell their stories and share their lived experience of either working in the NHS or accessing healthcare in 21st century Britain.

Funded by the AHRC, in partnership with the BFI, the three filmmakers were selected from over 100 applications.

The films will premiere at a special screening at BFI Southbank in November 2023. After this, they will be showcased through local screenings in the places where the films were made and for the people and communities that inspired the themes behind the films

The films will also be taken into the BFI National Archive and will become part of the NHS on Film Collection.

The Untold Film Stories are as follows:


Sara David and her filmmaking team will create an experimental documentary that traces the compelling stories of three Indian women, including the filmmaker’s mother, who trained together in India, became friends and came to work as nurses in the NHS in the 1990s.

Responding to the lack of ethnic diversity in the NHS on Film collection and using audio from films in the collection, David’s film will be based around a conversation over the dinner table where the friends come together and explore their interwoven and untold stories.

Every Moment Counts

Dermot O’Dempsey’s animated documentary aims to demystify the complexities and share the raw emotions of children’s palliative care, creatively reusing NHS on Film archival footage.

The filmmaking team will collaborate with healthcare professionals, families and partner organisations Barnardo’s and Together for Short Lives in the north of England and Scotland.

Dr. XYZ; A Medical Drag Transthology

El Jones’s film will engage the trans and non-binary community in Birmingham to help source their untold stories and experiences of accessing healthcare.

A contemporary and engaging update on the public information films within the NHS on film collection, it also aims to help healthcare professionals understand the challenges that the trans and non-binary community face.