Peter Jackson has announced that he is working on a brand new feature-length documentary about the First World War to mark the centenary of the war's end in 1918. The film will utilise footage from the archives of the Imperial War Museum and BBC.

With an emphasis on the people who were part of the war rather than the violent battles that took place, the untitled film will use footage never before seen by the public, which has been restored and colorised by hand.

The film is set to premiere later this year at the British Film Institute Film Festival – typically held in October – and will also be released widely in the UK. The movie will also be screened at select schools around the country.

"We're making a film [that is] not the usual film you would expect on the First World War," Jackson says in the video below.

"We're making a film that shows this incredible footage in which the faces of the men just jump out at you. It's the people that come to life in this film. It's the human beings that were actually there. That were thrust into this extraordinary situation.

"Accompanying these restored images, we've gone through about 600 hours of audio interviews with veterans in the 1960s, '70s, '80s.

"We've made which is to show the experience of what it was like to fight in this war. Not strategy, battles... we don't talk about any historical aspects of the war in particular, we just talk about social experience of being in this war, and the human experience of being in the war."

The project is part of a programme of events that will mark the centennial year of the battle under the banner "14-18 NOW". It has been supported by the British Lottery, Arts Council and the government's department of culture.

It is not clear if Jackson is directing the documentary, or producing. If he is directing it will be the first production he has directed since his Hobbit trilogy concluded in 2014.

Since the demands of filming that trilogy back-to-back, not too long after filming the Lord of the Rings trilogy one after the other, he understandably took a break from going behind the camera.

He, his wife Fran Walsh and longtime collaborator Philippa Boyens have penned the script for a big-budget adaptation of Philip Reeve's Mortal Engines books, which has been directed by Jackson protege Christian Rivers.