contemporary films

Contemporary Films, 8 Dickenson Road, London, N8 9EN
Tel: + 44 (0)20 7482 6204

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  Filmaker Mark Radomsky   
Roelf Attwel


Contemporary Films has acquired unique and exclusive stock footage shot in the early fifties in Central Africa by a skilled amateur cameraman. His name is Roelf Attwell, who as a young biologist became Chief Game Officer in the Department of Game and Tsetse under the colonial government of Northern Rhodesia. Attwell took it upon himself to make a scientific record of the wilderness and its then extraordinarily plentiful wild game.

Shot in 16mm, in colour, are the teeming herds of buffalo, wildebeest and other game in the African savannah.

Most of the footage is from a big national park through which flows the Luangwa River, a major tributary of the Zambezi. Huge schools of hippopotamus basking on sandbanks, crocodiles feeding en masse on a floating buffalo carcass, herds of elephant coming down to the river, all this and more constitute a remarkable record of the early days of the national park, where the animals are primary and man an unwelcome intruder.

Also available is a dramatic sequence of the world's biggest waterfall, the VICTORIA FALLS, the "smoke that thunders" - filmed in the early 1950s.


  • Footage of the Imperial Airways Flying Boat taking off from the Zambezi River above the Falls, on its final flight.
  • Records of Coronation Day as celebrated in a small outpost in the Eastern Province of Northern Rhodesia with a police parade and the arrival of the district administrator in full colonial regalia.


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