30 September 2015 – The constant development of digitization broadens the access to the film market. When film can be accessed from everywhere, cinemas, and particularly those that show classical and silent films, must find innovative ways to engage with audiences. At the 5th ACE workshop, which took place in Bologna on 3rd July 2015, film archivists and curators came together to present their activities in promoting archival films and developing audiences for this specific material. It was also discussed how cinematheques can better collaborate as a network, and share both best practices and cinema programmes.
Making “old” films fashionable
Tadeusz Kowalski (Filmoteka Narodowa, Warsaw) moderated the workshop. One of Filmoteka’s approach to make archival films more “trendy” is to combine a modern and a classical film on same topic, which allows the viewer to follow the development of cinema from the perspective of a particular theme. Filmoteka also organises cine-concerts to celebrate re-premieres of restored silent films. They have created an own TV programme, “Iluzjon.TV” , to inform about special events and the actual programme. It can be watched on You Tube, Facebook and in the cinema.
Presentation Out of Love for Cinema
Happenings and Communality
KAVI – the National Audiovisual Archive in Finland shows high quality 4K restorations, 70 mm films, 3D as well as Technicolor restorations, introduced by experts. Popular formats like sing-along contests and dress-along screenings help to bring new audiences into the theatre.
Presentation Audience development and film education at KAVI
“We Want Cinema” – Attracting younger audiences
Cinematheques offer a wide range of activities for kids and young adults to raise enthusiasm about watching, making and experiencing film. Sandra den Hamer (EYE Film Institute Netherlands, Amsterdam) presented MOVIE ZONE, an online platform that provides teaching materials, film tips, and an interactive film series teacher and pupils can works with. “EYE Exposed” is an innovative approach to involve young adults to write blogs about cultural events at EYE. They organize openings at EYE and share this information with their community. The Short Film Pool (“Korte Film Poule”) offers special educational programmes for primary and secondary schools. Subscribers have unlimited access to 250 short films, and DCPs are made on demand.
“Show me yours and I’ll show you mine” – Sharing film programmes
Mariona Bruzzo (Filmoteca Catalunya) presented the anthology “Basics of Catalan Cinema”. The five programmes (11 sessions) cover Catalan film production from the silent era until the 1980’s. The aim is to promote Catalan film heritage among FIAF members, festivals and cultural institutions. The programmes will be available in 2016.
Presentation Basic Films of Catalan Cinema
“Try the multiplexes”
Gian Luca Farinelli reported about Cineteca di Bologna’s success in doubling the size of their audience from 70,000 visitors in 2007 to nearly 130.000 in 2014, by offering a specified programme for different types of audiences. Through ccooperation with commercial cinemas, Cineteca di Bologna was able to show restored classical films in 19 different cities in Italy.
Improve collaboration, share experiences
Although the presentations show that Cinematheques are innovative and successful in attracting new audiences, it is a matter of fact that archival films are less and less shown, states Nicola Mazzanti (Cinémathèque royale de Belgique). ACE members need to better collaborate and share information about prints and DCP’s already available to circulate them among the network. Also, members should share experiences about titles which work and which doesn’t work, on the cinema screen as well as on VoD. The network could also collaborate closer in translating subtitles and buying film rights jointly. And why not trying the multiplexes? France is a good example that there is a demand and a market for heritage films.
ACE has initiated the workshop series “Management Strategies for Film Archives in the Digital Age” in 2012. It is a forum for discussing the impact of the digital paradigm on the daily work of archivists and curators working in Europe’s Film Heritage Institutions. Topics of the previous workshops were a) Digital archiving and workflows, b) Digital preservation and exhibition, c) Re-inventing cinephilia, d) Acquisition and collection policy.