The BFI has acquired UK rights to Andre Singer’s concentration camp documentary Night Will Fall.

The film is about not only the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps but the work by army and newsreel cameramen to document the horrific scenes they found in 1944 and 1945. The footage had been planned to be used in a contemporary film spearheaded by Sidney Bernstein, which Alfred Hitchcock was asked to edit; but that project was scrapped. The Imperial War Museum has restored the original footage.

Helena Bonham Carter narrates.

The film is being slated for a UK theatrical release on Sept 19.

The film had a work in progress screening at the Berlinale and then had its UK premiere at Sheffield, where it won a jury special mention. It screens this week at the Jerusalem Film Festival.

The BFI deal was done with Spring Films and Angel TV; Cinephil is handling international sales. The BFI had also supported the project’s production via the BFI Film Fund.

Producers are Sally Angel (Angel TV) and Brett Ratner (RatPac Documentary Films) with co-producers Philippa Kowarsky (Cinephil) and Signe Byrge Sorenson (Final Cut For Real). Executive producers are Richard Melman, James Packer and Stephen Frears.

Jane Giles, head of content development for the BFI, said, “Night Will Fall is a must-see film which combines a fascinating story of filmmaking and archives with heart-breaking testimonies to the horrors of the camps. We’re very proud to be bringing it to audiences across the UK this Autumn.”

Sally Angel, producer and MD of Angel TV, said, “It has been an enormous privilege to have been able to tell the story of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps and to hear first hand from survivors, liberators and others who were involved. We hope that Night Will Fall will bring their experiences to a new generation.”

Richard Melman, executive producer, Spring Films, added: “Rarely in one’s career does one have the privilege of working on a film that is both heartbreakingly poignant, but also an important contribution to our knowledge and understanding of one of the most horrific crimes of the 20th century. André has found a new and powerful way of telling a story that many thought they knew, many had forgotten, and most importantly, for those who never knew or didn’t care.”