This film is part of Free

How to File

Listen up, apprentices! Learn how to smooth and shape metal – an important wartime skill.

Industry sponsored film 1941 8 mins


This is the directorial debut of pioneering female documentary director Kay Mander, and if you’re after advice on how to organise your paperwork you’re in the wrong place. This short instructional film (an early “how to” film) was aimed at wartime metalwork apprentices. It deploys some nifty camerawork to illustrate how to smooth and shape metals by means of skilled use of a file. Mander was working for the prestigious Shell Film Unit at the time of making this film, however, like many of the Unit’s films of the era, it does not explicitly promote, or even mention, Shell.