Second Eye & Haghefilm Digitaal Film Restoration Traineeship has begun

Li-Chen Kuo

12 September 2019

The second joint Film Restoration Traineeship Programme between Eye Filmmuseum and Haghefilm Digitaal has started. Li-Chen Kuo has been selected as this year’s trainee.

The traineeship is a seven-month paid position and consists of two phases. In the first four months of the training programme, the trainee learns to work under the guidance of experienced curators, restorers, scanning operators, and digital film specialists in various departments at both Eye and Haghefilm Digitaal. By rotating through departments, the trainee will acquire a broad knowledge of many aspects of analogue and digital film restoration processes, such as identifying, reconstructing, repairing, scanning and developing film, quality control, and sound restoration. In the final three months of the programme, the trainee will specialize in a department of her own choosing. Throughout the programme, the trainee will work with films from the Eye collection.

Li-Chen Kuo has a Master’s degree in Film Heritage Studies as well as a PhD in Cinema Studies. In her PhD thesis Black as Cinema’s Invention: Material, Form, Device she studied how the color black operates and appears as a cinematic invention. For her, the traineeship follows internships at the Film Collections department of the Cinémathèque française and the photochemical department at the Éclair Laboratories in Paris.

When asked to comment on why she chose to apply, Li-Chen explains:

I have always been fascinated by the aesthetics of film material since the beginning of my studies. During my academic research, I realized that the most interesting discussions concerning film as material are in the film restoration field, which is about the whole history of filmmaking and the reconstruction of this history by the current technology. For me, this traineeship programme offered by Eye Filmmuseum and Haghefilm Digitaal is an exceptional opportunity to understand the film history in its technical details, and also, to be involved in the process of film restoration projects.

Supported by the Netherlands Film Fund, this unique traineeship for aspiring film restorers was launched in 2017 by Eye and Haghefilm Digitaal. The programme seeks to bridge the gap between academic (theoretical) training in the field of film archiving and daily film restoration practices. It aims to educate a new generation of film restorers and to help future-proof the profession of film restoration. This is crucial for the preservation of film heritage, and for the support of those filmmakers who prefer celluloid film to digital. In pursuit of this aim, the programme goes a step further than other internship and workshop programmes, in providing an intensive 7 month paid training in a lab and archive.