— Press Release
Films about World War 1 that have never been seen outside a cinema or on television are to be made available on the internet for the first time ever.
The European Film Gateway 1914 (EFG1914) plans to digitise up to 650 hours of footage and make it freely accessible via europeana.eu, Europe’s digital library, museum and archive. It will also appear on the film portal www.europeanfilmgateway.eu
The 2-year project was launched during a meeting of more than 40 representatives from 25 partner institutions at the German Film Museum in Frankfurt am Main.
The footage, which includes newsreels, documentary films and footage as well as fiction films from and about World War 1, is being digitised by archives across Europe, including the Imperial War Museum in London – which has one of the largest institutional World War 1 related collections – along with partners in France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Spain and the Netherlands.
Jill Cousins, Executive Director of Europeana, said, “This is an enormously valuable project for historians, schools, researchers and film buffs, and will provide a remarkable resource in time for the 2014 centenary, when public interest will really peak.”
“It’s important too because although a considerable amount of film material covering the Great War was produced, but experts estimate about 80% of that footage has been lost forever. Surviving films remain in analogue format, but access to them can be difficult, cumbersome and costly. But through digitisation, the material can be accessible to all on the web.”
Project organisers are sharing hundreds of hours of film material and expertise from a number of individual European archives in order to highlight the benefits of film digitisation and digital preservation of historical films across the sector.
Partners in EFG1914 are:
- Deutsches Filminstitut – DIF e.V. (Frankfurt), coordinator
- Arhiva Nationala de Filme (Bucharest)
- Association des Cinémathèques Européennes (Frankfurt/Brussels)
- Athena Research and Innovation Center in Information Communication & Knowledge Technologies (Athens)
- Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée – Archives françaises du Film (Bois d´Arcy)
- Cinecittá Luce S.p.A (Rome)
- Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique (Brussels)
- Cineteca di Bologna (Bologna)
- CNR-Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell´Informazione (Pisa)
- Det Danske Filminstitut (Copenhagen)
- Deutsche Kinemathek – Museum für Film und Fernsehen (Berlin)
- Estonian Film Archive (Tallinn)
- EYE Stichting Film Instituut Nederland (Amsterdam)
- Filmarchiv Austria (Vienna)
- Fondazione Cineteca Italiana (Milan)
- Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS (Erlangen)
- Imperial War Museum (London)
- Instituto de la Cinematografia y Artes Audiovisuales – Filmoteca Española (Madrid)
- Instituto Valenciano del Audiovisual y de la Cinematografia Ricardo Munoz Suay (Valencia)
- Jugoslovenska Kinoteka (Belgrade)
- Magyar Nemzeti Filmarchivum (Budapest)
- Národní filmový archiv (Prague)
- Nasjonalbiblioteket (Oslo)
- Österreichisches Filmmuseum (Vienna)
- Reelport GmbH (Cologne)
EFG1914 is coordinated by the Deutsches Filminstitut on behalf of the Association des Cinémathèques Européennes (ACE), with support from the European Union. It follows the success of the European Film Gateway, which has become the most frequently used web portal for finding films and film-related material from the film archives and cinémathèques of Europe. Between 2008 and 2011, more than 500,000 objects were made available for users to view online.
For more information about EFG1914 see the project website www.project.efg1914.eu