A presentation concerning the recently published Italian translation of Giovanna Fossati’sFrom Grain to Pixel: The Archival Life of Film in Transition (Dai grani ai pixel. Il Restauro del film nella transizione dall’analogico al digitale- Casa Editrice Persiani) took place on Monday, July 26th as part of a series of talks from DAMSLab and the Department of Arts at the University of Bologna
The new edition widens access and provides updated research developments following the original 2009 publication and significant, expanded second and third editions in 2011 and 2018 from Amsterdam University Press. New research projects featured in the volume include Beyond the Rocks (Sam Wood, 1922, with Gloria Swanson and Rudolph Valentino), Doctor Strangelove (Stanley Kubrick, 1964), and We Can’t Go Home Again (Nicholas Ray, 1973.)
Stéphanie Louis’ book, La cinématheque musée, une innovation cinéphile au coeur de la patrimonialisation du cinema en France, published in March of 2020, spans from the early days of the Cinémathèque Française in the wake of the Second World War to the late 1960s. Chronicling the advent of both mainstream and specialist interest in cinephile heritage over the greater part of three decades, this essential work explores the manner in which the origins of cinematographic museums and institutions transformed the experience of and around film viewership in France, as well as the role of film heritage in the fabric of contemporary French cultural identity.
As part of a new project from the ACE in the promotion of new and significant publications in the field of cinema scholarship, Anna Fiaccarini of Il Cineteca di Bologna spoke with Stéphanie Louis on Monday, the 19th of July about her research. ‘The effect of showing, in this historic work of research, the development of cinematheques everywhere, but in France, clearly, and the prime example of the Cinématheque Française, is how these developments had a strong influence on the practice of cinephilia,’ Fiaccarini said, urging archivists, scholars, and institutions to include the volume in their collections. ‘I have also borrowed the words of Donata Pesenti Campagnoni, who wrote a very nice presentation on Stéphanie’s volume in The Journal of Film Preservation (this summary and additional materials on the text can be accessed on the Association française de recherche sur l’histoire du cinéma’s website) in October of 2020. It is very interesting, because like Donata said here, we really come to understand how we have arrived at this world of cinematheques today, and why we watch and re-watch heritage films.’
In November 2016 the European Audiovisual Observatory has carried out a survey among the members of the Association des Cinémathèques Européennes. The objective was to assess the access to the film works in their collections in the context of education and research. 32 ACE members replied to the survey, representing over 1.1million film works.
The study “Access to film works in the collections of Film Heritage Institutions in the context of education and research” was part of a research project supported by the European Commission.” It can be downloaded HERE.
9 November 2016 – In 2012, the Orphan Works Directive has been adopted with the aim to unlock hundreds of thousands of objects preserved in Europe’s libraries, museums, archives and cinematheques, to digitse and publish them on portals like the European Film Gateway or Europeana. How has this objective been put into practise? The conference, jointly organised by FORWARD coordinator CINEMATEK and the Royal Library of Belgium, brings together professionals from the library and the audiovisual sector, policy makers and Commission’s representatives to discuss the impact of the Directive and how it has been transposed into national law.
In the afternoon, participants are invited to discover new orphan works tools: the FORWARD system to support the rights status assessment of audiovisual works, and the Royal Library’s orphan works database.
Venue: Royal Library of Belgium Date: 30th of November 2016, 9.30 – 16.30 h
You can access the programme and the registration form on the FORWARD website: http://tinyurl.com/z7oavr6 Registration is free of charge, but upon inscription. Please register before 25th of November.
28 November 2015 – Since July 2014, leading Film Heritage Institutions and cinema organisations are working together in the ABCinema project to share best practices and to explore, on a pan European level, creative approaches to encourage children, young people and teachers to engage with film heritage. The ABCinema website gives now access to first results, providing a catalogue of film’s related activities, supporting materials and practical guidance. The catalogue covers all types of films, mainly silent and non-narrative formats. Children and students are encouraged to enjoy the playfulness of animation cinema, to explore the great creativity and dream-like potential of surrealistic movies, and to get familiar with the impact of specific narrative elements like shadow, movement, sound etc. So far, twelve different activities based on twelve films are available on the website. They aim at enabling children and young people from 3 to 25 years old to explore their own creativity by experimenting with the material, by making their own films, as well as developing an understanding of the cultural richness, the social, historical and artistic importance of cinema. All activities, related films and resources intend to inspire practitioners, teachers and educators that wish to work with heritage films.
The first project year was dedicated to develop, implement and exchange film literacy activities among the partners. In the second project year, which started September 2015 and will run for one year, ABCinema plus will focus on peer-to-peer activities, addressing educational departments, decision-makers and teachers alike, while continuing to enrich the ABCinema website with best practices. The overall goal is to establish ABCinema as an expert hub for film literacy activities working with archival material. ABCinema and the follow-up project ABCinemaplus have been co-funded by the CREATIVE EUROPE programme of the European Union.
Partners: Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna (Bologna), Cinémathèque royale (Brussels), Deutsches Filminstitut (Frankfurt/Main), Les Enfants de Cinéma (Paris), EYE Filmmuseum (Amsterdam), Watershed Arts Trust (Bristol), Association des Cinémathèques Européennes (Brussels).
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.
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.
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.
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.
15 August 2014 – In connection with the policy report”Towards an integrated approach to cultural heritage”, the Commission has published an overview of activities and funding programmes related to cultural heritage, including film heritage: Horizon2020, Europeana, Creative Europe and the Structural & Investment Funds, ERASMUS etc. It encourages cultural institutions to seize these opportunities and to work closely across Europe to ensure that cultural heritage contributes to more sustainable growth and social cohesion.
Europe as a political body needs to recognize the value of cultural heritage, beyond economical and financial legislations. It is a powerful instrument to build a shared identity and a sense of belonging amongst and between European citizens, as stated in the declaration “ A new narrative for Europe”.
24 June 2014 – Since 2012, ACE has been organising the workshop series “Management strategies for film archives in the digital era”. Aim of these workshops is to react on the fundamental change caused by the complete digitization of the film industry and the entire cinema chain.
This year’s workshop will focus on how collection and acquisition policies are affected by the advent of digital distribution.
How are film heritage institutions dealing with the fact that in the digital age deposit of non-domestic works is shrinking?
How does the status of analog collections change when prints cannot be replaced anymore?
These are some of the questions that have become increasingly important for all archives and that the workshop will debate.
Speakers: Jon Wengström (Swedish Film Institute), Helen Edmunds and Kieron Webb (British Film Institute), Nicola Mazzanti (Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique), Michal Bregant (Národní filmový archiv – Czech National Film Archive), Peter Bagrov (Gosfilmofond), Sandra den Hamer (EYE Film Institute Netherlands), Thomas C. Christensen (Danish Film Institute)
Since November 2013, a consortium of 13 partners, among them 11 Film Heritage Institutions and commercial film libraries are working on FORWARD, a three-year EU funded project, which aims at creating an EU wide, semi-automated system to assess the rights status for all types of audiovisual works, including orphans. FORWARD has been initiated by ACE in the context of the Orphan Works Directive 2012/28/EU. It is, in a way, the result of ACE’s advocacy work to facilitate rights clearing for films and, in particular, to find a solution for the hundreds of thousand of orphan works preserved in Europe’s film archives. FORWARD also works towards the Commission’s policy for an integrated approach to Europe’s cultural heritage.
FORWARD is co-ordinated by the Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique and supported by the Community Porgramme CIP ICT PSP “Europeana & Creativity”.
Analysis of national copyright legislationsand system workflow
As a first step, the legal frameworks of the countries involved in the project have been analysed. This is a necessary step to define the workflow for assessing the rights status of a film and to get a clear indication whether it is in public domain or in-copyright, and in this case, whether it is orphan and how it can be used across Europe. So far, FORWARD started to define legal decision trees for those countries in the project that have already implemented the EU Orphan Works Directive: Finland and Germany. The Netherlands and Denmark will follow. The analysis of the legal frameworks is coordinated by EYE Film Institute, due to their legal expertise in the “Images for the FUTURE” project and the European Film Gateway.
Design of rights information infrastructure The workflow design from a technical point of view is coordinated by CINECA. CINECA builds on the experience they have achieved as a technical partner in ARROW. ARROW is a similar tool to assist rights clearance, but for the publishing sector. Compared to ARROW, the system’s workflow in FORWARD is much more complex, because a film has more authors: In most European countries these are the principal director, music composer, author of the screenplay and author of dialogues. This means that much more databases and sources need to be checked to find the relevant information.
How to find information about AV rights holders? The 10 Film Heritage Institutions (FHI) presented in the consortium are the main and often unique sources of information, which is stored in filmographic databases, catalogues, on cencorship cards etc. However, to complete the information, 3rd party databases from producers, authors, and Collective Management Societies need to be searched as well. FORWARD partners are currently identifying relevant national 3rd party information sources such as GEMMA for music rights. FORWARD will take into consideration the search criteria and sources which need to be queried in compliance with the national legislations on Orphan Works
Enriching metada Project partner DFI (Danish Film Institute) is currently analyzing the databases of each partner archive. If information is missing that is critical for assessing the rights status, the archive will record the information manually, so that it can be harvested and processed by the FORWARD system.
Promotion and consensus building Consensus building among all stakeholders is a key element for the progress and succes of the project. FHI, CMOs, producers etc need to agree upon the workflow. For this purpose national seminars will be organized in the partner’s countries. The first seminars will be held in October in Germany at the Deutsches Filminstitut, Finland and The Netherlands are following.
Partners: Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique/Koninklijk Belgisch Filmarchief, coordinator (Brussels), Association des Cinémathèques Européennes (Brussels, Frankfurt), CNC – Archives françaises du film (Bois d´Arcy), Consorzio Interuniversitario – CINECA (Bologna), Danish Film Institute (Copenhagen), Deutsches Filminstitut – DIF (Frankfurt), EYE Film Institute Netherlands (Amsterdam), Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna (Bologna), FOCAL International LTD (Middlesex), Filmoteka Narodowa (Warsaw), KAVI – National Audiovisual Insitute (Helsinki), Instituto de la Cinematografia y Artes Audiovisuales – Filmoteca Española (Madrid), Národní filmový archiv – National Film Archive (Prague).
20 November 2013 – On 13 November, the final session of the stakeholder’s dialogue Licences for Europe took place in Brussels. The initiative was set up jointly by the Commissioners Neelie Kroes (Digital Agenda), Michel Barnier (Internal Market and Services), and Andrea Vassiliou (Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth) in February this year. The purpose of the four working groups was to deliver quick solutions for bringing more content online. ACE was member of working group 3 “Audiovisual Heritage Institutions” represented by Nicola Mazzanti. After 10 months of discussions ACE and rights holders representatives agreed on principles and procedures about digitising, restoring and making available European film heritage. The statement was signed in presence of the three Commissioners by ACE, the Federation of European Film Directors (FERA), the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF), the Society of Audiovisual Authors (SAA).