A Season of Classics Films is a series of free film screenings and parallel activities across Europe designed to attract younger audiences to our shared cinematic cultural heritage. The programme looks to raise awareness of the work of European film archives, connecting the public with cinema history and the significance of film preservation. Most of the films are premiere digital restorations and some screenings include dynamic elements such as live performances and educational interactive sessions. All films are available with English subtitles. Additionally, French or other subtitles are in some cases available.
This is an initiative of the Association des Cinémathèques Européennes (ACE) with the support of the EU Creative Europe MEDIA programme.
The programme of the next edition will be announced on 23 May during the Cannes Film Festival. The screenings will take place between June and December 2022. Stay tuned!
Travel through Switzerland / Reise durch die Schweiz | Switzerland, 1920-1961, 102′
These unique short films offer an eclectic view of the past in different regions of Switzerland, from aviation pioneers in the 1920s to progressive women in the 1960s.
Summer Daydream: A Selection of Vintage Bulgarian Short Films | Bulgaria, 1926 – 1940, 70′
* New restoration world premiere*. Cinema screening and online streaming with live music, organised by the Bulgarian National Film Archive. The archived live streaming features an introduction about the films and musical accompaniment by violinist Boyana Zhelyazkova and pianist Yasen Obretenov.
A compilation of early Bulgarian films depicts life in Bulgaria in the interwar period with a pinch of humour and it takes the viewers to an imaginary vacation in the Black Sea and the countryside.
Sanz and the secret of his art / Sanz y el secreto de su arte | Spain, Maximiliano Thous and Francisco Sanz, 1918, 65′
The archived live streaming features an introduction about the film and piano music by Arcadi Valiente Galbis. The film is restored and presented by Filmoteca Valenciana – Institut Valencià de Cultura.
White Paradise / Bílý ráj | Czechoslovakia, Karel Lamač, 1924, 73′
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. The premiere screening was followed by a live discussion on ‘Classics Today‘. The screening and discussion are organised by the Národní filmový archiv, Prague.
Be Prepared! / Buď připraven! | Czechoslovakia, Svatopluk Innemann, 1923, 64′
Buď připraven! portrays the early Czech boy scout movement taking the audience to astonishing locations, such as Orlík castle and St John’s Rapids, the latter of which no longer exists. This is a new digital copy of the tinted and toned original film. Preserved, digitised and presented by the Národní filmový archiv, Prague.
The Sins of Love / Hříchy lásky | Czechoslovakia, Karel Lamač, 1929, 73′
A provincial couple of actors moves to the city and the wife becomes a star. The premiere screening is followed by a live discussion on ‘Music for Film‘. The screening and discussion are organised by the Národní filmový archiv, Prague.
Films of Jana Kříženecký [compilation] | Austro-Hungarian Empire, 1898-1911, 90′
This programme remains available to view online. This compilation of shorts introduces some of the earliest films made in the Czech lands, shot by Jana Kříženecký from 1898 to 1911. The digitised original negatives and vintage prints allow us to see their diversity and material beauty. The compilation is presented with commentary by film restorer Jeanne Pommeau. The premiere screening was followed by a live discussion on ‘Presenting Early Cinema‘. The screening and discussion are organised by the Národní filmový archiv, Prague.
The Lovers of an Old Criminal / Milenky starého kriminálníka | Czechoslovakia, Svatopluk Innemann, 1927, 109′
A silent farce with two men who swap their identities to escape marriage. After the live stream, the film will remain available to view online. The screening is organised by the Národní filmový archiv, Prague.
A Quiet Summer / Мирно лето [Mirno Leto] | Yugoslavia, Dimitrie Osmanli, 1961, 99′
A young couple yearns for their summer peaceful retreat by the lake. Will they manage to escape from the very same faces they are trying to hide away?
Frosina / Фросина [Frosina] | Yugoslavia, Voislav Nanovic, 1952, 79′
Frosina, a single mother who suffered a lot in life and lost many children, faces the fear of losing her only surviving child in the fight for freedom…
Gypsies / Cikáni | Czechoslovakia, Karel Anton, 1921, 85′
A film adaptation of the eponymous novel by Karel Hynek Mácha – author of the celebrated epic poem May – about a Venetian gondolier whose beloved is enticed away by a wealthy foreigner.
The crucified / Ukřižovaná | Czechoslovakia, Boris Orlický, 1921, 60′
An adaptation of Jakub Arbes’ novel that deals with the socio-political climate of the mid19th century, antisemitism, war and love. The story takes place during the 1866 riots in Poland during which peasants crucified a Jewish woman. The screening is organised by the Národní filmový archiv, Prague.
The man who had his hair cut short / De man die zijn haar kort liet knippen | Belgium, André Delvaux, 1965, 95′
The new restoration had its world premiere in two free special screenings at the CINEMATEK to celebrate the cinemas reopening in Belgium! This is a digital restoration in 2K from the original negative material preserved and restored by the Cinémathèque royale de Belgique / Koninklijk Belgisch Filmarchief. About the programme.
Bubble Bath / Habfürdő | Hungary, György Kovásznai, 1979, 76′
The new restoration had its world premiere in two live streaming events, which are not accessible any longer. The restored film will soon premiere in the cinema. The film is restored and presented by the Nemzeti Filmintézet Magyarország – Filmarchívum / National Film Institute Hungary – Film Archive. About the programme.
Seven Slovenian Shorts | Yugoslavia, 1946-1984, 82′
A rare overview of Slovene filmmakers within the Yugoslav federation. The world premiere of the new restoration was presented last June by the Slovenian Cinematheque. About the programme.
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