Category: News

A Season of Classic Films: Discover Czech silent films

A Season of Classic Films at NFA

From April to June, the Czech National Film Archive will offer free online access to seven silent films with contemporary music, in the frame of ‘A Season of Classic Films’. The selection includes some of the first movies shot in the Czech lands, Karel Lamač’s films and performances by Vlasta Burian and Anna Ondráková. Some screenings will be followed by live discussion on topics related to silent film and its presentation.

The first screening of the Czech retrospective is Karel Lamač’s Bílý ráj (White Paradise, 1924, 73’) with music by multi-instrumentalist Tomáš Vtípil on Thursday 8 April, starting at 17:00 CET. In this film, Nina falls for the good heart and piercing eyes of an escaped prisoner and decides to help him visit his dying mother for the last time. An ingeniously written script and the involvement of ‘The Strong Four’ – one of the most distinctive creative teams to come out of Czechoslovak cinema: director and actor Karel Lamač, cameraman Otto Heller, actress Anny Ondra and screenwriter Václav Wasserman – contributed to the international success of the film and established Lamač and Ondra as major forces of early cinema. Other prominent figures of early Czech cinema participated in the production, such as Martin Frič and Gustav Machatý. The new film digitisation originates from a 35mm coloured restored print, for which a unique tinted and toned nitrate film provided source material.


The premiere screening on 8 April will be followed by the discussion ‘Classics Today’, which provides a framework for the entire Czech retrospective. What the term ‘classic’ means in architecture, music, literature and why using this term, will be some of the questions discussed by guests from various cultural fields and moderated by the General Director of the Czech National Film Archive, Mihal Bregant.

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A Season of Classic Films: free worldwide screening of ‘Sanz and the secret of his art’

Sanz and the secret of his art, an unusual hybrid between documentary and fiction displaying animated human-like dolls, will be screened on Friday 5 February at 18:00 CET with live music, in the frame of the 2020-2021 edition of ‘A Season of Classic Films’.

The screening will be freely accessible worldwide with English subtitles via the YouTube channel of the Institut Valencià de Cultura, and at the same time a limited audience will have the opportunity to attend the event at the Filmoteca’s cinema in Valencia.

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A George Méliès program on ARTE in collaboration with the Cinémathèque française

To celebrate the soon to be opened Méliès Museum, ARTE, in partnership with the Cinémathèque française, offers a series of short films by George Méliès and the premiere of the documentary Le mystère Georges Méliès directed by Serge Bromberg and Eric Lange.

The shorts featured on are:

  • Le Royaume des fées(1903, 16 min.), Le Voyage à travers l’impossible (1904, 22 min.), Le Locataire diabolique (1909, 6 min.), Le Palais des mille et une nuits (1905, 21 min.), La Sirène (1904, 4 min.), Les Affiches en goguette (1906, 3 min.) until March 9th
  • Le voyage dans la Lune (1902, 15 min.) until January 15th
  • Les Cartes vivantes(1904), Excelsior! (1901), The Man with the Rubber Head (1901, 3 min.), The Fly Man (1902, 2 min.), The Devil’s Four Hundred Farces (1906, 17 min.), The Infernal Cauldron (1903, 3 min.) until May 31st

The documentary Le mystère George Méliès, a co-production by ARTE, Steamboat Films, Lobster Films and Blackhawk Films, will be available for streaming on until March 9th. Enriched by interviews with Costa-Gravas, Michel Gondry and film history experts, the film retraces the life and work of Méliès.

To find out more on the program, click here.

Murnau’s Tabu and Deutsche Kinemathek’s work on the outtakes

Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau’s last film Tabu (USA 1931) is a particularly interesting case study for what concerns the protection of audiovisual cultural assets due to its unique history. In addition to the different versions of the film, there is a stock of around 17,500 meters of film material: alternative or unused takes of the film, the so-called outtakes.

The KUR Programme for the Conservation of Moveable Cultural Assets – initiated by the Federal Cultural Foundation and the Cultural Foundation of German States – made it possible for the Deutsche Kinemathek, in cooperation with the Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Foundation and the Österreichisches Filmmuseum, to produce these nitrate films, which are threatened by decay in the long term, safeguard materials by copying them and publish them in digital form. In addition, the script for Tabu as well as the daily reports of the shooting have been published on the Deutsche Kinemathek’s website.

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Initiatives by ACE members during the second lockdown

Back in March film archives from all over Europe closed their door because of the pandemic but continued to offer a digital program to stay connected with audiences at home. The second wave of the virus in the winter months has brought to a second lockdown and ACE members are once again serving as a strong reminder of the importance of cinema. This article offers a rundown of what ACE members from all over Europe are offering right now:

  • Cinematek highlights its collection treasures available on Youtube. Check out the dedicated playlist.
  • Cinémathèque Suisse is pleased to offer its audience four feature films until January 24th. In the program: La Vocation d’André Carel (Jean Choux, 1924), Quatre d’entre elles (Claude Champion, Francis Reusser, Jacques Sandoz and Yves Yersin, 1968), Maine Océan (Jacques Rozier, 1968), Go Go Tales (2007, Abel Ferrara). From January 6th, this offer will be completed by two documentaries: Jour de marché (2002, Jacqueline Veuve) and Imatra (2007, Corso Salani). Click here for more information.
  • Cineteca di Bologna is bringing the Cinema Ritrovato experience in everyone’s home with Cinema Ritrovato | Fuori Sala. Every 30 days a whole new program with at least 15 films available to watch on streaming on the MYmovies website for just 15 euros. Every movie will be presented by critics, directors and witnesses in its best version and silent films will be accompanied by a curated soundtrack. Click here for more information.
  • Deutsche Kinemathek is offering access to online exhibitions (with themed tours) and their digital collection. Click here for more information.
  • Deutsches Filminstitut Filmmuseum offers the digital program accompanying the current special exhibition The Sound of Disney. 1928-1967, that gives the audience an opportunity to study the world of sound in Disney movies online. Click here for more information.
  • Film Archiv Austria is offering an online retrospective dedicated to Hans Moser, the epitome of Viennese humor. It will be available until January 14th. Click here for more information.
  • Filmmuseum München offers an online program with restorations by the Filmmuseum as well as retrospectives by filmmakers such as Werner Schroeter. Click here for more information.
  • Cinémathèque de Toulouse offers a chance to watch some unknown animated feature films. Visit the Cinémathèque’s website to discover more.
  • Lichtspiel Bern, after a successful advent calendar, continues to offer its digital program. Visit its Vimeo page for more information.
  • Tainiothiki tis Ellados offers an online festive program running until January 10th. Click here to find out more.



Yuletide drinks meeting

The ACE Executive Committee invited members to a Zoom drink on 17 December. More than 20 members took part, some for longer, some for a shoter time, meeting virtually one last time this year. We reported to our colleagues how life in isolation is going in each our country, and sent best wishes for the holidays and the new year.

The meeting was quite gleeful regardless, and reminded all of us that we have a strong and positive community which can offer support during these hard times.

Thanks to all participants and, one more time, have a very happy Christmas and a properous New Year!


A Season of Classic Films: online premiere with the newly restored ‘Sinner without a sin’

The second edition of A Season of Classic Films will premiere on Friday 4 December at 19:00 CET with a free online worldwide streaming of the newly restored 1930 film Sinner without a sin. Yugoslovenska Kinoteka will provide the streaming service via its YouTube channel, while the screening at its premises in Belgrade, Serbia, will take place at a later date based on the latest COVID-19 measures.

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Official opening of the new building of the Montenegrin Cinematheque

News from our colleagues  in Montenegro:

Montenegrin Cinematheque and Music Centre of Montenegro have officially started their work at the new building on the 3rd November, the day of opening ceremony which was attended by the President of Montenegro, the Mayor of Podgorica and the Minister of Culture.

After two decades of waiting, we can say with great pleasure that the Cinematheque met all the needs for starting  its activities in conditions that fulfill the standards of modern film archives.

In its new space, the Cinematheque has at its disposal adequate depots for preserving copies of film negatives and  positives, as well as editing rooms which serve for working with digital and analogue materials.

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A brief report from the November ACE executive committee’s meeting

The ACE executive committee met via Zoom on Wednesday November 11. The committee discussed the results of the ‘Survey on Future Digital Services’ sent to the Associates. 33 archives answered and this gave a good snapshot of the digital activities and needs of ACE members right now. The two main subjects that have emerged from the survey: the capacities and limitations in the archives for working with their own assets, and the common desire of the members for external collaboration and the future growth of their own platforms. The clear takeaway is the need for a common platform to bring people into closer communication with their colleagues from other institutions. It was also discussed the need to use the best practices developed for i-Media Cities for EFG. It was suggested the possibility of creating a digital task force for the project. EC has two different tasks: to ensure the sustainability and development of EFG and IMC, and the second one is to discuss the requests/wishes coming out from the survey.

The creation of a technical experts working group is necessary to draft a project for the further development of these ideas and platforms. The Romanian Film archive expressed a desire to join the EFG platform but four more members are needed to fulfill our obligation under the new DSI-4 grant to continue to grow the number of contributors.

During the future months, it’s vital to follow the associates in different countries facing the adoption of the Directive (EU) 2019/790 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 April 2019 on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market.

A Season of Classic Films – Programme Catalogue

This publication presents the film titles selected for the second edition of A Season of Classic Films. It provides a colourful palette of European cinema history which aims to be a source of inspiration for cinemagoers and film programmers around the world. The films are presented by 22 members of the Association of European Cinematheques (Association des Cinémathèques Européennes – ACE).

The 22 partner institutions selected a total of over 50 short and long-feature films, showcasing distinguished titles and less known treasures. Most of the films are new digital restorations and some screenings include exciting elements such as live performances and experimental electronic music.


Download: A Season of Classic Films – programme catalogue


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