Photo : Attila Gunduz

2022 FIAF Symposium

The Visible Archive: Archiving, preserving, digitizing, and sharing 'non-feature' film collections

Urania National Film Theatre, Budapest, 25-26 April 2022

Nowadays, great progress has been made worldwide in the digitization and restoration of classic films, but there is still much left to do to make film preservation a strategic cultural priority. The topic of the symposium is the various aspects of archiving – from acquisition and cataloguing to preservation and dissemination – of what we have labelled ‘non-feature’ films; that is, shorter, non-narrative or non-fiction material. In most archives, the amount of non-feature films outnumber feature films, but collections of, for instance, newsreels and experimental films, tend to get less attention, even if their cultural, technical, and historical value is widely recognized. Although archives are making considerable efforts to preserve, digitize, and share their holdings, a significant percentage of this type of shorter material in their collections remains invisible. Therefore, the Symposium will address issues on how to research and preserve these extremely diverse materials and how to make such collections ‘more visible’ to the archival and academic communities as well as the general public. The title of the Symposium was inspired by Visible Man, or the Culture of Film, the work of the Hungarian film theorist Béla Balázs, who placed the concept of ‘visibility’ at the centre of his thinking and considered it extremely important for our time.

Click on each of the images below to access the programme and video recording the the corresponding Symposium session. Please do not publish or re-use in any way any of these documents without prior permission of the speakers.

Session 1 : “Segments of the Soul” – PANEL I

Session 2 : “The Mosaic of Reality” – Collecting practices, small gauge and amateur film

Session 3 : “The Mobile Form” – Reuse of materials from non-feature film collections 

Session 4 : “Immediate Present” – Digitisation and access

Session 5 : “We have learned to see” – PANEL II

Session 6 : “The Cameraman's Consciousness” – Newsreels and ethical challenges

Session 7 : “The mirror shows itself” – Identification, research and restoration

Session 8 : “Views with Views” – Archival life and cataloguing of non-feature film collections