EYE won two FOCAL International Awards on 2 May; the Desmet Collection won the award for best archive project and Karel Doing’s Liquidator won an award for the best use of archive material in a short film.
In appreciation for the work of film researchers and restoration experts, the jury of the Focal Awards, the international federation of commercial audiovisual archives, annually awards prizes for films and large-scale restoration projects that distinguish themselves by their inventive use of archive material.
EYE won a prize in the categories of Best Use of Footage in a Short Production (Liquidator) and Best Archive Restoration/Preservation Project (Jean Desmet Collection). EYE was also nominated for Best Use of Footage on Non-television Platforms (www.filminnederland.nl) and the Best Archive Restoration/Preservation Title (Shoes).
FOCAL Jury: "This year’s entries were very special indeed. With more than 180 submissions from 18 countries the judges had a difficult task on their hands. The winners – from the UK, USA, France, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands - all demonstrated outstanding use of archive material, and highlighted the importance of preserving film in order to remind us of our collective history."
Liquidator (2010) by filmmaker Karel Doing was praised for its special use of deteriorated film – a print of the city Haarlem – in combination with its soundtrack, made specially for the film by Michal Osowski. The way in which EYE has preserved its famous Jean Desmet Collection – recently inscribed on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register – also came to the attention of the FOCAL jury.
EYE has been nominated by FOCAL in the past, as well: once for Beyond the Rocks (1922, an EYE restoration project) and Farewell (2009), with 12 minutes of film material from EYE’s collection.
The prizes were awarded on 2 May 2012 in London.