The Lord Of The Rings director Peter Jackson is to direct a feature documentary about the First World War. The film will use exclusive archive footage from the Imperial War Museums’ film archive and audio from the BBC archives.

The untitled documentary will receive its premiere at the BFI London Film Festival in 2018 with Trafalgar Releasing co-ordinating a simultaneous screening of the film in cinemas around the UK. It will subsequently aired on BBC One, where it will be accompanied by a ‘making-of’ documentary with behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with Peter Jackson and an in-depth look at the creative and technical process behind the work.

The film, which has been created in association with 14-18 Now, the UK’s official arts programme for the First World War centenary, will see Jackson hand-colourize and 3D digitize never-seen before footage, restored with modern production techniques.

The doc has been produced by Jackson’s New Zealand production company WingNut Films and is exec produced by House Productions’ Tessa Ross.

Jackson said: “I’ve always been fascinated by the First World War due to my own family history and the Centenary felt like a unique opportunity to make a personal contribution to the commemoration. I wanted to find a way to bring new life to the stories of ordinary people living through extraordinary times.”

Jenny Waldman, Director of 14-18 NOW, added: “When Peter and I first met, he said he wanted to create a piece of film that would bring the experience of the First World War to life for young people today, which is precisely our focus in this last season of 14-18 NOW. We are delighted to be working with such an exceptional filmmaker on this ground-breaking production and visionary resource that will enable all secondary school students in the country to see the film.”