In contrast to bibliographic information, the exchange of filmographic information has so far received little attention from the standardization community. Several recent standards specify metadata for moving images in digital formats only, with little, if any, provisions for the requirements of film archives. Most of the cinematographic heritage until the beginning of the 21st century will continue to exist on analogue media, even if it will be consumed primarily in digitized form.
Therefore, in 2005, the EC Directorate General Information Society and Media mandated the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) with the development of a metadata standard for cinematographic works, aiming to support the exchange of filmographic data, to improve the access to the European film heritage, and to increase the dissemination of European films by defining standards for film cataloguing and indexing. Following this mandate, the CEN Technical Office (CEN/BT) formed a task force (TF 179), later to be changed into a Technical Committee (TC 372). The Deutsches Institut für Normung (DIN) was appointed as the secretariat and the Deutsches Filminstitut (DIF) was responsible for appointing the convenor.
Committee members came from major standardization bodies and film archives throughout the European Union.
The Cinematographic Works Standard was prepared in two parts:
Part I (DIN EN 15744:2009 Film identification – Minimum set of metadata for cinematographic works) specifies a minimum set of information elements for the unambiguous identification of film works. This part of the standard can also be used for structuring human-readable output from information systems implementing the second part.
Part II (DIN EN 15907:2010 Film identification – Enhancing interoperability of metadata – Element sets and structures) is a specification for structuring machine-processable metadata about cinematographic works. This part of the standard can be used as a basis for data exchange between existing catalogue systems. It is also intended to serve as a guideline for information professionals seeking to build interoperable systems that carry information about moving images. Part 2 draws upon several existing standards, recommendations and reference models.
The standardisation and harmonisation of cataloguing and indexing practices of cinematographic works, developed by the CEN project, is an indispensable component part for setting up the domain specific europeanfilmgateway.eu and filmportal.de. The CEN project also initiated a routine exchange of information and a continuous liaison with the “FIAF Cataloguing and Documentation Commission“.
In order to promote the use of the Cinematographic Works Standard and to familiarize film archivists and experts from the AV heritage sector with recent developments in the field of interoperability of filmographic data, CEN is organising four workshops taking place in Rome (25 – 27 October 2010), Copenhagen (13 – 15 April 2011), Prague (25 – 27 May 2011) and Paris (22 – 24 June 2011). For more information, please see www.filmstandards.org.