British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access


1962 - 1974
Cinemagazine - Government
In late 1960 Charles Beauclerk of the Central Office of Information conducted a two month trip to South East Asia to report on the film operation in the region. One of his recommendations was that ‘a monthly film magazine in colour’ should be produced for cinema and non-theatrical distribution in the region. By May 1962 the first issue of a new Technicolor cinemagazine, Roundabout, was released on a monthly basis, sponsored by all three Overseas Departments of the British government. Each issue carried topical stories about developments in Britain and the Commonwealth, as well as items with a particular focus on South and South East Asia. By the late 1960s it was issued in eight languages - English, Burmese, Mandarin Chinese (sub-titled), French, South Vietnamese, Indonesian, Thai and Malay. Initially Roundabout was made by Associated British Pathe but with the closure of its cinemagazine unit in 1969, the contract passed to British Movietonews, with Roundabout issue no. 99, released in August 1970.
The data for this series has been compiled from: Production files (INF 6) and COI monthly divisional reports (INF 8) held at The National Archives; COI index cards and catalogues at BFI Footage Sales; production files at BUFVC together with existing copies of Roundabout are held at the British Film Institute. There are two points at which the release dates, taken primarily from the Notice of Completion document which specifies scheduled theatrical release, are inconsistent. The first is the jump from an August release for Roundabout No.16 to November for Roundabout No.18. An October release has been given for Roundabout No.17 and the gap accepted. The second is another jump in release date by two months at Roundabout No.85. In the monthly release schedule this should have been June 1969 but is scheduled for August 1969 and subsequent issues are scheduled in relation to this. In this case June 1969 was kept because other documentation supported this date for this issue and subsequent ones.

Films in this series can be obtained from:

Film Archive

British Film Institute (BFI)
For BFI National Archive enquiries: For commercial/footage reuse enquiries:
020 7255 1444
020 7580 7503
21 Stephen Street
London W1T 1LN
The BFI National Archive also preserves the original nitrate film copies of British Movietone News, British Paramount News, Empire News Bulletin, Gaumont British News, Gaumont Graphic, Gaumont Sound News and Universal News (the World War II years are covered by the Imperial War Museum).
Series held
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