A new web gateway called filmarchives.online (www.filmarchives-online.eu) may become a sought-after resource for film professionals seeking convenient access to moving image collections from European film archives. Coordinated by the German Film Institute, the project has searchable archives from the collections of six archives in four countries.
Currently it is integrating catalogues from 10 more institutions in six additional countries.
"At the moment, about 5,000 works of film on about 10,000 film copies can be searched in the system," Georg Eckes, who is the project manager at Deutsches Filminstitut-DIF, said in an email exchange with FNE. "We expect to have at least 15,000 film works searchable at the end of 2007."
The archives are intended primarily for media professionals intending to re-use footage for films, documentaries, TV productions, commercials and the like. One of filmarchives.online's main goals is to provide users with a comfortable search possibility over the web.
"This guides the selection of film material for filmarchives.online," Eckes said. "You can find mostly films and footage which can be licensed through the archives."
The material consists mainly of non-fiction, non-feature material such as documentary films, newsreels and amateur footage.
"With our full-text search of the content descriptions (usually in the native language and in English), users have content-based access to film information," Eckes said. "Full-test searching content descriptions is very important when your search for footage about a specific item, when the usual search approaches (film titles, persons) may not be very useful."
Filmarchives.online come into being as a result of the MIDAS project (Moving Image Database for Access and Re-use of European Film Collections) which was initiated in January 2006 as a pilot project in the European Union's MEDIA Plus program.
Here are the archives that can currently be searched via filmarchives.online: - Film archives of Deutsches Filminstitut and Deutsches Filmmuseum (Frankfurt/Main) - British Film Institute (London) - Cineteca del Comune di Bologna - Czech Narodni Filmovy Archiv (Prague) - DEFA-Stiftung (Films of the former GDR state production company DEFA; films are held in the Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv, Berlin) - reelport.com (not a traditional film archive: digital short film distribution platform, Cologne) Here are the 10 institutions whose catalogues should be integrated by the end of 2007: - Cinemathèque Royale de Belgique (Brussels) - Nederlands Filmmuseum (Amsterdam) - Norsk Filminstitutt (Oslo) - Fondazione Cineteca Italiana (Milan) - Magyar Nemzeti Filmarchivum (Budapest) - Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv (Berlin) - Deutsche Kinemathek (Berlin) - IWF Knowledge and Media (Göttingen) - Greek Film Archive (Athens) - Lichtspiel Kinemathek Bern (Switzerland)