EYE in Bologna: FIAF Congress and Film Festival Il Cinema Ritrovato

Signori giurati

30 June 2016

EYE director Sandra den Hamer and a fair number of her co-workers are currently in Bologna, where Den Hamer will offer a presentation on the new Collection Centre for the 72nd congress of the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF). Several EYE restorers are contributing to the symposiums and programmes of  Il Cinema Ritrovato, the annual early film festival.

The international film archive community is gathering in Bologna, where the thirtieth edition of Il Cinema Ritrovato, one of the largest festivals in the world in the field of silent film restoration and screening, started on 25th June. This year’s FIAF congress also took place in Bologna, from 23-28 June. At the conference EYE director Sandra den Hamer outlined to her international colleagues the latest developments concerning EYE’s recently completed Collection Centre.

For the first time in its history, virtually all of EYE’s film collections are brought under one roof (with the exception of the nitrate collection). The collection, which comprises some 40,000 titles, was formerly stored at several locations in the province of North Holland. Restorers, collection researchers and curators are now housed in a state-of-the-art climate-controlled collection building, with direct access to the research objects.

EYE’s collection is represented at the Il Cinema Ritrovato Festival in many sections of the programme; recovered and restored films – products of meticulous, high-technology digital craftsmanship bringing to light old film reels – are screened in one of the six theatres or at the outdoor venue on the majestic Piazza Maggiore.

A total of 25 films are featured in such sections as Centi anni fa (A Hundred Years Ago), 1896. Cinema Anno Uno (1896. Year One of Cinematography) and the programme commemorating ‘100 Years of Dada’. The selection includes feature films (Signori giurati, 1916), news reels from EYE’s Mutoscope & Biograph collection, short comedy films and three films from the Desmet collection starring the early American diva and producer Norma Talmadge (1894-1957). A special feature is the screening of Bankroet Jazz (The Bankruptcy Jazz, after a script by the Belgian poet Paul van Ostayen), a multimedia event previously featured at the Filmmmuseum Biennale of 2010. The film will be introduced by Frank Roumen, who directs film collection and research at EYE.

EYE is also involved in the release of the double Festival DVD: Grand Tour Italiano. 61 Films from the Early 1900s. The DVD offers a unique portrait of Italy on the threshold of the modern age around 1910 and includes a wealth of documentary footage of villages, towns and regions. EYE contributed rare documentary footage from its collection (Istituto Luce, Desmet Collection).

Click here for an overview of Il Cinema Ritrovato.