History of ACE

In 1991, a number of European Filmarchives founded the Association of Filmarchives of the European Community (ACCE) as well as the Projetto LUMIERE, which was funded by the European Program MEDIA I. In the years that followed, Projetto LUMIERE concentrated on three major activities:

  • The restoration of European films
  • A search for “lost” European films
  • The compilation of an extensive European Filmography

More than 1000 European films, mostly dating from the silent era were restored by joint efforts of the film archives, some 700 films in various collections were rediscovered and identified. The national filmographies of all EC countries, several of which compiled from scratch, were consolidated in a single database. An extensive account of the activities initiated by LUMIERE was published in 1996. (Catherine A Surowiec [Ed.] / The Lumière Project; The European Film Archives at the Crossroads, Lisbon, 1996) During this period, the ACCE was relatively inactive, since the efforts were accredited to LUMIERE. When MEDIA I was replaced by MEDIA II in 1996, the Projetto LUMIERE came to an end. The ACCE was revived and expanded to encompass the whole of Europe. The name of the Association changed to Association des Cinémathèques Européennes (ACE). The General Assembly of ACE decided that all full, provisional and associate members of the Féderation Internationale des Archives du Film (FIAF) could become its members. Currently, ACE has 49 members.

Today ACE offers:

  • many thousands of film titles of all European nationalities
  • films preserved, restored and digitised to the highest professional standards
  • easy access for both the public and industry
  • easy and free access to catalogue information of film archives from all over Europe via filmarchives-online
  • a single access point to films, images and texts from selected collections of 38 film archives across Europe via the European Film Gateway and Europeana
  • on a collective catalogue of film literacy activities and film titles, sharing best practices in approaches to audience development and film literacy across borders via the ABCinema project