Biennial Audiovisual Archival Summer School 2021

20 September – 1 October 2021, Online

Applications are now closed and successful applicants have been notified.

BAVASS 2021 will be an online event, running for ten days in late September. Based on successful online training models that FIAF has used during the pandemic, and on the successful first edition of this biennial event held in Bloomington, Indiana, in May 2019, this ambitious training school will combine lectures and interactive workshops across a wide range of topics. Participants will also carry out assignments in their own time throughout the two weeks of the school. The course will be conducted in English only.

BAVASS 2021 online will concentrate on the key aspects of the work of film archives, covering both practical and theoretical subjects taught by leading experts in the field. Each day will consist of a lecture for all participants and workshops for smaller groups in which discussion of the participants’ assignments will form the basis of the training. There will also be opportunities for the participants to get to know each other in free-discussion periods.

The provisional list of topics covered can be found below. Please note that BAVASS does not cover topics at an advanced level. The training is suitable for archivists wishing to broaden their knowledge in areas where they do not currently have expertise, and for students and others who wish to gain a wide understanding of the essential elements of film archiving.


  • Digital technology and file formats

  • Film scanners and digitisation

  • Colour correction and finishing

  • Soundtrack digitisation

  • Videotape preservation and digitisation

  • Restoration ethics and practice

  • File formats and management

  • Digital infrastructure and preservation

  • Film and AV preservation strategies

  • Photograph and paper conservation


  • Film technology

  • Film identification and selection

  • Open-source tools and resources

  • Digitisation projects large and small

  • Access and online engagement

  • Film programming

  • Cataloguing and metadata

  • Archive advocacy and funding strategies

  • Disaster preparedness and response

BAVASS 2021 will be limited to 48 participants, with the majority reserved for employees of FIAF affiliates. Attending the school will demand much of the participants’ time, Monday to Friday, over the two weeks, and applicants must be able to commit to this. Only those who have attended the full course will be awarded a course completion certificate.

Registration were open between 16 June and 12 July. Successful candidates were notified by email by Friday 16 July. They were asked to complete a brief registration form and pay the registration fee of 150€ for employees of FIAF-affiliated institutions and full-time students (proof of enrolment required), or 200€ for all others.

If you have any question about this event, don’t hesitate to contact us at training@fiafnet.org.

Listen to our Training & Outreach coordinator speak about the FIAF Training & Outreach programme and the forthcoming BAVASS 2021 for the London-based radio channel FRED HERE.