The Doc Rowe Film

Feature documentary. 90 mins

Please support our crowdfunding campaign to permanently preserve a key section of folklorist Doc Rowe’s incredible archive.

And spread the word on socials!
David ‘Doc’ Rowe has been visiting seasonal events across the UK since he experienced an epiphany during a chance encounter with the mercurial Padstow Mayday festivities back in 1963. In the time since, he has amassed many thousands of hours of unique audio-visual material, covering over 800 different traditions. We followed Doc around the British Isles for a single calendar year, as the events and the country itself were slowly emerging from the enforced lockdowns which had halted many of these annual customs for the first time in living memory.

The film thus stands as a testament to the perseverance of Doc himself, and also the regular folk that maintain these living, breathing customs that stand at the heart of what modern community means.

Whilst we have our documentary filming in the can, in order to complete the movie we now need access to the motherlode of archive materials which are currently stored away on a host of prosumer formats in Doc's vast storage facility in Whitby, North Yorkshire. The purpose of the film is to raise the profile of Doc's unique archive and enable it to find a suitable long-term repository. Rather than just sing the archive's praises, we're aiming to be part of the solution. To this end, we will shortly be announcing a crowdfunding campaign, designed to create a permanent digital copy of all Doc’s material pertaining to folk traditions, from where it can be shared with the communities he’s documented and the public more widely.
© Fifth Column Films 2023