Varsity Trip 1949 – ‘Sestrieres’

We will soon have the pleasure of interviewing Derrick Knight, filmmaker and secretary of Oxford University Film Society in the early 1950s. He worked with Guy L Coté, who became president of the Society, on many projects, and describes their meeting:

“During my first term at Oxford, having done my national service as an army education sergeant, I busily explored the whole gamut of clubs and societies whose guest speakers afforded a cheap way of seeing and hearing some of the great politicians, writers and thinkers of the time. I also discovered a greater opportunity to see good films than I’d ever known – and I learned that a certain Guy Coté, a French-Canadian, was secretary of the Oxford University Film Society (OUFS). I wrote him a cheeky letter laying out my experience of film society organization and programme planning and asked if I could be of help. I was invited to come round to his bedsit for a chat. When I got there I could hardly get into his room because it was festooned with strips of film hanging from a network of strings, but by careful ducking and diving it was just possible to reach a chair. Guy, it turned out, was not only the Film Society’s secretary but also the captain of the Oxford University ski team that he had led to inter-varsity ski championships in Sestrieres in the Italian Alps that year. Not only had he competed but had also helped with the shooting of an amateur film around the event.” (http://www.guylcote.com/derick-knight/)

This 1949 Film of ‘Sestrieres’ has been kindly provided by Guy’s daughter, Natalie Coté, to whom we are most grateful for her help in our research. We’ve uploaded a preview onto our Instagram channel, which you can find here.

Natalie has also published the documents surrounding the production of the film, which detail how a training film originally budgeted at £40 became the £700 wonder that was shown in Norway, Canada, and over French television:

© All rights reserved by Natalie Coté (guylcote.com)

© All rights reserved by Natalie Coté (guylcote.com)

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