British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

About the project

The Project

‘David Lean and Gaumont Sound News’ was funded by the David Lean Foundation. The project was led by Luke McKernan and the Senior Researcher was Linda Kaye. The prime goals were twofold. Firstly, to add the history of one of the earliest British sound newsreels, Gaumont Sound News (1929-1933) to the News on Screen database (NoS), the world’s leading online resource on the history of the British newsreel. The other aim was to research David Lean’s early career as a newsreel cutter on Gaumont Sound News and contextualise this through a website. This research was conducted and written by Linda Kaye.

The Outputs

  • Around 2,000 stories from Gaumont Sound News have been added to the NoS together with biographical data
  • A dedicated micro-site of the NoS tracing the history of Gaumont Sound News and the role it played in the early career of David Lean, including 30 minutes of encoded material from the newsreel.
  • An article tracing the impact of sound on the newsreels during its first three years


We would like to acknowledge the following organisations and individuals who have helped us to realise the aims of the project:

  • BFI National Archive
  • Kevin Brownlow
  • David Lean Foundation
  • ITN Source

The following stills have been reproduced with permission:

  • David Lean (Capri, 1937) photo courtesy of Kevin Brownlow
  • News Theatre, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle upon Tyne c.1937 courtesy of Tyneside Cinema
  • Editola courtesy of North West Film Archive at Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Gaumont Sound News van at Soho Square courtesy of BFI