Author: Paulina Reizi

A SEASON OF CLASSIC FILMS: PREMIERE OF ‘A halál után’ in the Festival de la Cinémathèque

The film A halál után (After Death, 1920, Hungary, dir. Alfréd Deésy) that was awarded the joint film restoration grant in 2023 in the framework of the programme ‘A Season of Classic Films’, has been selected to premiere in the Festival de la Cinémathèque. The international restoration premiere will take place on Sunday 17 March at 14:00 at the Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé.

About the film and the restoration

After Death was adapted from the novel L’Homme qui revient de loin by the renowned French author Gaston Leroux, whose detective and fantasy fiction works have been the subject of tens of film adaptations from the 1910s to nowadays, the best known of all being The Phantom of the Opera (Le Fantôme de l’Opéra). L’Homme qui revient de loin was first adapted for the big screen by Gaston Ravel in 1917 immediately after its publication. In 1950, a remake was directed by Jean Castanier featuring Maria Casarès, and it even became a successful French TV series in 1972. Leroux’s works were very popular in Hungary and the novel L’Homme qui revient de loin was translated in Hungarian and published in 1920, prompting an immediate adaptation to film by Alfréd Deésy in the same year. Alfréd Deésy was one of the most prolific Hungarian filmmakers of the era, and the heroine, Kamilla Hollay, was a well-known star in Europe.

The only surviving copy, which features richly tinted images, has been carefully restored in 4K thanks to a collaboration by the National Film Institute Hungary – Film Archive, the Royal Belgian Film Archive and la Cinémathèque française.

The sole remaining nitrate print of this film has been preserved by the Cinémathèque royale de Belgique – CINEMATEK. In 2023, the National Film Institute Hungary – Film Archive undertook a digital restoration of this nearly intact 1613-metres-long tinted and toned nitrate print. This restoration effort was executed in collaboration with CINEMATEK and la Cinémathèque française. Throughout the restoration process, a deliberate choice was made to retain the original bilingual distributor titles within the film. Unfortunately, the opening credits did not survive, requiring a reconstruction based on available historical sources.

Digital copies of the restored film are shared among the partner archives to enable better accessibility and preservation.

JOINT RESTORATION GRANT

In 2022, ACE launched the Joint Restoration Grant within its A Season of Classic Films programme, thanks to the additional funding of the European Commission aimed at supporting transnational collaboration of film institutions in the field of film preservation. In 2023, the jury, comprised of filmmakers Radu Jude and Saodat Ismailova, ARTE France general director Olivier Père and film programmer at Lincoln Center and head of international relations at ECAM Industria Cecilia Barrionuevo, selected the film A halál után from an array of proposals submitted by European film heritage institutions.

A Season of Classic Films features free screenings of newly restored films alongside parallel activities across Europe with the aim of developing new audiences for film heritage. Through a series of live and online events, the programme raises awareness of the work of European film archives, advocating the significance of film preservation and cinema culture, especially to younger generations. In addition to reaching new audiences, the programme is also an expression of connection and solidarity between the European film archives, something which is key to the preservation of our common film heritage.

A Season of Classic Films is an initiative of the Association des Cinémathèques Européennes (ACE) with the support of the MEDIA strand of the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.

PREMIERE RESTORATION SCREENING

Chaired by Costa Gavras, the 11th edition of the Cinémathèque française archive film festival features newly restored films from all over the world. This very special premiere restoration screening of A halál után (After Death) will be held at 14:00 on Sunday 17 March at the Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé with live piano accompaniment from Matthieu Lecoq and will be introduced by NFI’s director György Ráduly and representatives of the partner archives.

For the previous joint restoration grant: please read more about Slike iz života udarnika (Life of a Shock Force Worker, 1972, Yugoslavia, Bahrudin ‘Bato’ Čengić) that premiered in Venice and received an ICOM award for international cooperation.

For film loans: To programme the films presented in the Season of Classic Films programme, please find the contact information and detailed filmographic details in our catalogues from 2021, 2022 and 2023.

For dates and access links of the upcoming free screenings of A Season of Classic Films in cinemas across Europe and online, please follow ACE’s website and social media pages on Instagram | Facebook | X-Twitter.

 

The International Council of Museums honours the Season of Classic Films 2022 joint film restoration

On Monday 4 December, the Slovenian branch of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) celebrated its annual award ceremony in the Museum of Modern History in Ljubljana, giving the international cooperation award to the joint film restoration project carried out in the framework of the programme A Season of Classic Films 2022.

The International Council of Museums honours EU-supported project on digitisation and restoration of film heritage

This is the success story of cross-border collaboration between organisations working in the field of film heritage to preserve and promote cinema culture. The Slovenian Cinematheque, the Austrian Film Museum, the Croatian State Archive – Croatian Cinematheque, and the Sarajevo Film Center united forces to digitise and restore Slike iz života udarnika (Life of a Shock Force Worker, 1972, Yugoslavia, Bahrudin ‘Bato’ Čengić). The project was carried out from May 2022 to April 2023 in the context of the 2022 edition of A Season of Classic Films, by the Association des Cinémathèques Européennes (ACE) with the support of Creative Europe MEDIA programme  – the EU programme supporting the audiovisual and film sectors – and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia.

Connecting European film heritage with new audiences

The film was censored and withdrawn from distribution since its national and international premieres at the Pula Film Festival and Venice Film Festival in 1972. After half a century, this project has given the film a new life and audience.

Photo taken at the Teleking studio during the restoration process.
Photo taken at the Teleking studio during the restoration process. © Teleking

In addition to the premiere during the 80th Venice International Film Festival, the film has already been presented in several events across Europe.

  • Premiere in Bosnia and Herzegovina: The Film Center Sarajevo in collaboration with Sarajevo Film Festival organised an open-air screening in Sarajevo with an attendance of around 2.000 people.
  • Premiere in Slovenia: The Slovenian Cinematheque organised a screening in Cankarjev dom (Slovenia’s largest Cultural and Congress centre) with members of the original crew.
  • Premiere in Austria, in the Austrian Film Museum and at the Viennale, Vienna International Film Festival.
  • Premiere in Croatia, during the Zagreb Film Festival.

The film was also available to online audiences via the ArteKino Classics programme. For three months, film-lovers across Europe could enjoy it free of charge with subtitles in six languages (English, Italian, French, Spanish, German, Polish).

ICOM Award in the field of international cooperation

The International Council of Museums (Slovenian branch) has recognised the collaborative efforts with its 2023 Award in the field of international cooperation. This award is given to individuals, groups or organisations that establish a dialogue at the international level and promote the development and importance of museums as institutions and bring new ideas and contribute to the development of consciousness.

In the award justification, ICOM pointed out that “the value of the project is also reflected in the successful cooperation of experts from the wider international domain for the preservation of film heritage. The digital restoration process itself has improved the knowledge and establishment of best practices for film restoration in Slovenia.”

Pohot of Mr. Karpo Godina, cinematographer of the film, taken during the award ceremony.
Mr. Karpo Godina, cinematographer of the film, during the award ceremony. © Sašo Kovačič
Picture of Mrs. Ženja Leiler Kos, director of the Slovenska Kinoteka, during the award ceremony.
Mrs. Ženja Leiler Kos, director of the Slovenska Kinoteka, during the award ceremony. © Sašo Kovačič

 

 

For dates and access links of the upcoming free screenings of A Season of Classic Films in cinemas across Europe and online, please follow ACE’s website and social media pages on Instagram | Facebook | X-Twitter.

 

 

European Heritage Awards focus on Film Heritage

The prestigious European Heritage Awards 2023 Ceremony will take place on 28 September in the Palazzo del Cinema in Venice. The Grand Prix laureates and Public Choice winners, selected from among this year’s outstanding heritage achievements, will be announced in the presence of Europa Nostra President Cecilia Bartoli.

For this year’s ceremony, Europa Nostra partnered with ACE – Association des Cinémathèques Européennes and the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG Connect) to highlight heritage excellence and best practices in Europe in the domain of cinema culture.

The ceremony will feature extracts from significant film restoration projects. They will be projected during the intermezzos and as a celebratory conclusion to the event. The films include The Clowns (1970) by Federico Fellini restored by Cineteca di Bologna, the silent Swedish film With Reindeer and Sled in Inka Länta’s Winterland (1926, Erik Bergström) restored by the Swedish Film Institute, the film Life of a Shock Force Worker (1972, Bahrudin ‘Bato’ Čengić) that was jointly restored by Slovenska kinoteka, Hrvatski državni arhiv – Hrvatska kinoteka, Filmski centar Sarajevo and Ōsterreichisches Filmmuseum, and a compilation of Georges Méliès’ short films (1904-1906) restored by La Cinémathèque française. Two of the film excerpts will be accompanied by live music, performed by a violin quartet of the European Union Youth Orchestra. The restored films were presented in the framework of the EU-funded A Season of Classic Films programme.

The event will also be live-streamed via europanostra.org (28 September, 20:00 – 22:00 CET).

 2023 Ceremony Programme Booklet (PDF)
 2023 Summit Programme Booklet (PDF)

The European Heritage Awards Ceremony is the highlight event of the European Cultural Heritage Summit 2023. The Summit is organised by Europa Nostra and co-funded by the European Commission on 27-30 September in Venice, coinciding with the 60th anniversary of Europa Nostra. Europa Nostra is the largest European network of cultural heritage NGOs, supported by a wide network of public bodies, private companies and individuals, covering over 40 countries. It maintains close relations with the European Union, the Council of Europe, UNESCO and other international bodies. The federation campaigns to save Europe’s endangered monuments, sites, and landscapes, in particular through the 7 Most Endangered Programme. Europa Nostra celebrates and disseminates preservation excellence through the European Heritage Awards.

A Season of Classic Films: Celebrating Film Heritage across Europe

Currently in its 4th edition, A Season of Classic Films features free screenings of restored films alongside parallel activities across Europe with the aim of developing new audiences for European film heritage. Through a series of live and online events, the programme raises awareness of the work of European film archives, advocating the significance of film preservation and cinema culture, especially to younger generations. In addition to reaching new audiences, the programme is also an expression of connection and solidarity between the European film archives, something which is key to the preservation of our common film heritage.

A Season of Classic Films is an initiative of the Association des Cinémathèques Européennes (ACE) with the support of the MEDIA strand of the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.

For dates and access links of the upcoming free screenings of A Season of Classic Films in cinemas across Europe and online, please follow ACE’s website and social media pages on Instagram | Facebook | X-Twitter.

 

A Season of Classic Films: Premiere of ‘Life of a Shock Force Worker’ in Biennale

The film Slike iz života udarnika (Life of a Shock Force Worker, 1972, Yugoslavia, Bahrudin ‘Bato’ Čengić) that was awarded the joint film restoration grant in the framework of the programme ‘A Season of Classic Films’, has been selected to premiere in the 80th Venice International Film Festival. The international restoration premiere will take place on Wednesday 6 September at 11:15 (sala Corinto) and there are two repeat screenings on the 7th September.

On the occasion of the premiere, the Director of Photography Mr. Karpo Godina will be present as well as the Slovenian Minister of Culture Dr. Asta Vrečko and representatives from the collaborating European film heritage institutions (Slovenian cinematheque, Croatian State Archives – Croatian Cinematheque, Austrian Film Museum, Film Center Sarajevo, ACE – Association des Cinémathèques Européennes).

About the film

The film is a collection of exquisitely beautiful tableaux vivants inspired by the lives of coal miners in post-WWII Yugoslavia. The main character is a miner who, despite being glorified for his hardworking achievements, lives a life that is anything but glitz and glamour.

Besides shining a light onto one of the blind spots on the map of European film heritage, the film touches upon the subject of propaganda — a pertinent matter in our post-truth era.

“Slike iz života udarnika was made based on a feeling, my feeling, the feeling of a man from Bosnia who saw the Stakhanovite tribe as the most moral form of acknowledging the working class, all that communism and a socialist society meant at the time,” commented filmmaker Bato Čengić during the TV programme Povečava, RTV Slovenia on 28 March 1996.

The film originally premiered at the Pula Film Festival in 1972 – out of competition – and was considered a representative of the film movement called New Yugoslav Cinema and widely known by its pejorative label Yugoslav Black Wave. Films of this movement depicted everyday life in Yugoslavia in a naturalistic way, showing it to be far less perfect than purported.

During the war in early 1990s, Bato Čengić deposited a 35mm print of the film at the Slovenian Cinematheque in Ljubljana. The image and sound negatives are preserved at the Croatian state archive – Croatian cinematheque. The Slovenian Cinematheque and the Croatian state archive have been taking care of these precious film materials, but so far without the possibility of restoring them.

About the restoration

For the 3rd edition of the programme A Season of Classic Films, ACE – Association des Cinémathèques Européennes presented the Joint Restoration Grant of € 50.000. A Season of Classic Films is an initiative developed by ACE to promote film preservation and is financially supported by the EU Creative Europe MEDIA programme. The objective of this specific grant is to underline the importance of preservation and restoration of film heritage through transnational collaboration of film institutions.

The Slovenian Cinematheque proposed the restoration of this film in collaboration with the Croatian state archive – Croatian cinematheque, the Austrian Film Museum and the Film Center Sarajevo.

At the Cannes Film Festival 2022, ACE awarded its Joint Restoration Grant to Life of a Shock Force Worker (1972). The jury, comprised of filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa, Pordenone Silent Film Festival director Jay Weissberg and director of the Cinema-Fiction Department of ARTE Claudia Tronnier, selected the film from a raft of proposals submitted by European film archives. “Large parts of the Yugoslavian film heritage have so far been underserved,” the jury wrote about its choice. “Life of a Shock Force Worker has strong imagery, but it is in desperate need of colour grading since the original has faded with time. A key asset is that ACE and the four partner institutions responsible for this restoration project will collaborate with DoP Karpo Godina.”

Thanks to the Joint Restoration Grant of the Season of Classic Films and additional funding by the Ministry of Culture of Republic of Slovenia, the restoration has been successfully carried out in 4K through a remarkable international collaboration.

The negative was cleaned and scanned at L’immagine Ritrovata in Bologna (Italy), the positive print was digitized at Film Center Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), the film’s restoration and colour correction were completed at Teleking in Ljubljana (Slovenia), and the sound restoration was carried out at 001 d.o.o. in Ljubljana (Slovenia).

The restored copy includes previously censored fragments.

 Discover the background of this international collaboration and the film's historical context (PDF)

Future screenings

The restored film is already planned for screenings in other international festivals as well as for a 90-day free online offer across the whole Europe via the ArteKino Classics programme in the coming autumn.

  Please see here the latest news of A Season of Classic Films, a series of free screenings of restored films and parallel activities across Europe designed to attract younger audiences to our shared cinematic cultural heritage.

  Please also check out the restored films that are currently available to watch for free via ArteKino Classics with subtitles in six languages.

 

 

International Classic Film Market and the Re>Birth Programme in Lyon 17-20 October 2023

MIFC - Marché International du Film Classique - Home

 

The International Classic Film Market, a market dedicated to film classics, is organized every year as part of the festival Lumière in Lyon, France, with meetings, roundtables, cocktails and screenings. For its 11th edition, the Market will be held on 17-20 October 2023, welcoming again a large number of right-owners and major catalogues. This year, the International Classic Film Market will also feature the new Re>Birth Programme, with special events dedicated to sales agents and buyers on Thursday, October 19 and Friday, October 20.

Designed in a collaborative spirit, the new “Re>Birth programme” brings together:

  • Right-owners or representatives of classic films looking for new commercial outlets.
  • Professionals looking for new opportunities: buyers, sellers, distributors, programmers, laboratories, publishers and all other partners who can contribute to the new exploitation of films.

The program will include a selection of feature-length films, recently restored or in the process of being restored, with a target of theatrical re-release, distribution media (TV, platforms, video publishing, etc.), international sales, financial partnerships, etc., on the scale of different territories.

For this first edition of the “Re>Birth Programme”, the following will be eligible:

  1. Restored films certified Lumière Classics by the festival Lumière 2023.
  2. Films with a restoration project submitted by Market accredited members.

These events present a new approach to expand the offer and promote classics on all media.

  • Re>Birth Programme #1 “films with label”: Thursday afternoon, October 19
  • Re>Birth Program #2 “films to be restored”: Friday morning, October 20

Each session will consist of 6 presentations of films pitched by their right-owners or representatives (15 minutes per pitch with video excerpts) in the Karbone room. One-to-one meetings will then be organized between the project owners and interested professionals in the Market Village.

More information and the forms to apply are on the MIFC website.

If you are interested in this project at the festival Lumière and its Market in Lyon, please reach out to mifc@institut-lumiere.org.

 

ACE Survey on Existing Analogue Film Heritage Resources

Until the 15th of July, a small survey of the existing technical resources (and the needs) for photochemical operations is open for ACE members. The aim is to make this information public and available. This will allow all ACE members to communicate to our community what resources we have in this area of preservation and exhibition of analogue film heritage.

In particular, the plan is to make this information available on the ACE website, so that everyone can easily find partners with common challenges, needs, and problems. Thanks to the synergy of ACE members and this knowledge sharing, this survey should help the film preservation community in finding common solutions.

For any question, please contact Rui Machado from Cinemateca Portuguesa: rui.machado@cinemateca.pt

 

 

ACE Workshop – Digital Preservation and Distribution of Film Heritage: 27 June 2023

This year’s ACE Workshop will focus on the state of digital preservation and the strategies for sharing digital content, VOD platforms, archival festivals, and cross-border access to European film heritage.

Click here for the full programme and speakers.

Date, Time: Tuesday 27 June, 13:30 – 17:00

Location: MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna, Via Giovanni Minzoni 14, 40121 Bologna, Italy

Admission is free.

 

Premiere of opera film Orfeusz és Eurydiké on the longest night

This year, the Hungarian National Film Institute (NFI) presents the newly restored opera film Orfeusz és Eurydiké (Orpheus and Eurydice, 1985) as part of the European project A Season of Classic Films. Enikő Eszenyi and Sándor Téry star in István Gaál’s version of the mythological work. The premiere will take place in the recently renovated screening room of the Film Archive on 21 December, the winter solstice. It will then also be available to view online for a week between the two holidays. The cinema screening is free of charge but registration is required.

With his final cinema piece made in 1985, István Gaál not only set Gluck’s iconic opera to film but he transformed it into an incisive auteur movie through rich visual images and intense symbolism. He portrays Orpheus not as a hero of mythology but rather as a fallible, struggling human who is confronted by the mystery of death. Sándor Sára was cinematographer on this spectacular film. It ranks among the classics of auteur opera films alongside Ingmar Bergman’s The Magic Flute and Joseph Losey’s Don Giovanni.

The movie Orfeusz és Eurydiké was made on the basis of the Vienna version (1762) of the opera that concludes in tragedy. However, Gaál made radical changes to the Gluck work: his Orpheus sings not in a castrato tenor or alto but instead – in line with ancient Greek mythology – in a masculine baritone, sung by Lajos Miller. Eurydice is sung by Maddalena Bonifaccio, Ámor by Veronika Kincses, while the part of Orpheus is played by Sándor Téry, Eurydice by a youthful Enikő Eszenyi and Amor by Ákos Sebestyén. The Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra and Hungarian Radio and Television Choir, with Tamás Vásáry in the role of conductor, provide musical accompaniment.

The film presentation is realised within the framework of the international project A Season of Classic Films organised by ACE (Association des Cinémathèques Européennes – Association of European Cinematheques) and sponsored by Creative Europe. The objective of this international project is to promote the digital restoration of gems of European film art and, by ensuring their widespread presentation, to draw attention to the work of European film archives.

In 2021, the NFI – Film Archive presented György Kovásznai’s animation cult movie Habfürdő (Bubble Bath) in the framework of this programme. This year, it is making István Gaál’s recently restored opera film available on the big screen and online.

REGISTRATION for the cinema screening at 18:00 on 21 December, NFI – Film Archive screening room (1021 Budakeszi út 51/E): https://nfi.hu/filmarchivum/urlapok/orfeusz-es-eurydike-operafilm-premier.html

ONLINE PREMIERE – 26 December 2022 – 1 January 2023, with subtitles in English, French and Hungarian: https://www.facebook.com/events/668636598258833

For dates and access links of the upcoming free screenings of A Season of Classic Films in cinemas across Europe and online, please follow ACE’s website and social media pages on Instagram | Facebook | Twitter.


 

ABOUT THE ASSOCIATION DES CINÉMATHÈQUES EUROPÉENNES (ACE)

The Association of European Cinematheques (Association des Cinémathèques Européennes – ACE) is an affiliation of 49 European national and regional film archives. Its role is to safeguard the European film heritage and make the rich audiovisual records collected and preserved by the various film archives accessible to the public. ACE members are non-profit institutions committed to the FIAF Code of Ethics.

Follow ACE news on social media  Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

 

 

A Season of Classic Films: The Balkan War

This year marks 110 years since The Balkan Wars (1912-1913). The Bulgarian National Film Archive (BNFA) will commemorate the event with a digital restoration of the film The Balkan War (1913, dir. Alexander Ivanov Zhekov). The film is a unique visual document of this important European military conflict. The presentation will include audio commentary by film historian Petar Kardjilov and new original music.

The world premiere screening of this restoration will be held in BNFA’s cinema ‘Odeon’ on Tuesday 13 December 2022 as part of ACE’s A Season of Classic Films. The event will be recorded and uploaded on BNFA’s YouTube channel for free online access until 31 December.

The Balkan War Балканската Война [Balkanskata Voyna] | Bulgaria, 1913, 55’, non-fiction

Director-Cinematography: Alexander Ivanov Zhekov. Producer: unknown. Physical characteristics of first release: 35mm, 55’, B&W, silent, Bulgarian intertitles. Film copy screened during A Season of Classic Films: Restoration premiere. DCP 2K (for cinema screening) and ProRes (online). 55’, B&W, silent, Bulgarian intertitles. Subtitles: English. Copyright: Bulgarian National Film Archive.

In the course of the First World War, Europe has gradually established means and methods in filming military actions. In 1912-1913, when this film was shot, footage of direct combat was rare.

As film historian Petar Kardjilov notes, “Only a few films in Bulgaria’s film making are said to be legendary. One of them is The Balkan War. It is a well preserved and unique cinema document of military conflict of recent European history. The Balkan War was one of the first large-scale armed conflicts after the beginning of the cinema age. It was a media event and film played its important part.”

* Free cinema screening: Tuesday 13 December 2022 at 18:00. Free tickets can be picked up at the ticket office of the Odeon cinema on the day of the screening.

* Free worldwide online premiere: The event will be recorded and uploaded on BNFA’s YouTube channel.

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Let’s celebrate International Animation Day!

ACE – Association des Cinémathèques Européennes and Creative Europe MEDIA join the celebration of the International Animation Day on 28 October, a perfect occasion to spotlight the magnificent contribution that the ‘grand dame’ of animation – Lotte Reiniger (1899 -1981) – has made to the field with her oeuvre of pioneering silhouette films.

To ensure that her legacy lives on, the DFF – Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum, is currently working to restore eight films from Reiniger’s early work. The films will premiere in a free screening with live music on 14 December, as part of A Season of Classic Films, an initiative by ACE that features free screenings of restored films and parallel activities across Europe to attract younger audiences to our shared cinematic cultural heritage, supported by Creative Europe MEDIA. Details about the screening event at DFF can be found here.

For dates and access links of the upcoming free screenings in cinemas across Europe and online, please follow ACE’s website and social media pages on Instagram | Facebook | Twitter.

About the International Animation Day

The International Animated Film Association (ASIFA) created the International Animation Day in 2002, to celebrate the birth of animation historically marked by the first public performance of projected moving images at Emile Reynaud’s Theatre Optique on 28 October 1892 in Paris.

Starting in France with 120 locations, ASIFA now coordinates and helps promote activities in more than 50 countries all over the world, putting the art of animation in the limelight in a global worldwide celebration of animation. Find out what’s happening this year at http://iadasifa.net/.

Read more