Most people associate film festivals with premieres and the dissemination of the latest trends in cinema. However, the past three decades has also seen the rise of festivals dedicated to re-presenting cinema’s past through restorations, retrospectives and rediscoveries.
This anthology is the first to chart the development of this phenomenon, while also considering such key issues as: the relationship between archives and festivals, the role of live music and the event screening, canon formation and the impact of digital technologies. Featuring writings by Paolo Cherchi Usai, Ian Christie, David Robinson, interviews with Tom Luddy and Nick Varley, and chapters by festival specialists and scholars, Archival Film Festivals contains a dozen case studies from around the globe, five interviews with festival directors, programmers and distributors, a themed bibliography and a table of archival film festivals from around the world.
Alex Marlow-Mann, Paolo Cherchi Usai, Ian Christie, Bryony Dixon, John Riley, Ana Grgic, David Robinson, Gian Luca Farinelli, Lucy Mazdon, Natascha Drubek, Fredrik Gustafsson, Oksana Sarkisova, Dan Streible, David Murphy, Aaron Gerow, Chalida Uabumrungjit, Jan Christopher Horak, Toby Haggith, Brigitta B. Wagner, Pasquale Cicchetti, Maria-Paz Peirano, Heather L. Barnes, Chelsea Wessels.
A Note on Referencing and Interviews
List of Abbreviations
Part 1: Contexts
Archival Film Festivals at the Crossroads
The Archival Film Festival as a ‘Special Event’: A Framework for Analysis
Paolo Cherchi Usai
New Lamps for Old: What Can We Expect from Archival Film Festivals?
Archival Film Festivals as Sites of Memory
Live Cinema: Silent Film, Orchestral Accompaniment and the Special Event
Part 2: Case Studies
The Charm of Cinematic Rediscovery: Le Giornate del Cinema Muto / The Pordenone Silent Film Festival
A Passion for Cinema in All Its Myriad Forms: Il Cinema Ritrovato, Bologna
Gian Luca Farinelli
The Relationship between Archives and Festivals: Reflections on the British Silent Film Festival
The Festival de Cannes: Archive or Archivist?
Accessing the Russian State Film Archive: The Belye Stolby Film Festival
Celebrating the Past while Looking to the Future: The Bergman Week
Conflicting Pasts: Programming Retrospectives at the Verzio Film Festival
Saving, Studying and Screening: A History of the Orphan Film Symposium
Lost and Found: Screening the ‘Lost Classics’ of African Cinema at the Africa in Motion Film Festival
Retrospective Irony: Film Festivals and Japanese Cinema History
Projecting the Thai Film Archive Collection
Out of the Past: UCLA Festival of Film Preservation
Jan Christopher Horak
Archival Footage – New Films: Screening Student and Amateur Work at the Imperial War Museum Film Festival
Part 3: Resources
Revival on the Mountain: The Politics of Cinematic Rediscovery at the Telluride Film Festival. An Interview with Tom Luddy, Festival Co-Founder and Co-Director
Brigitta B. Wagner
The Past Lives of Images: Curatorial Practices and Marketing Strategies in Archival Cinema. An Interview with Nick Varley, Managing Director of Park Circus
‘Each Piece of Film Helps Us to Reconstruct History’. An Interview with Alfredo Barría, Founder and Artistic Director, and Jaime Córdova, Technical Director of the Cine Recobrado Valparaíso Film Festival
Screening the Past at the Museum of Modern Art. An Interview with Joshua Siegel, Associate Curator of Film at MoMA and Co-founding Curator of To Save and Project: The MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation
Heather L. Barnes
Navigating the Archive of Red Westerns. An Interview with Ludmila Cvikova, Head of International Programming, Doha Film Institute
Select Bibliography: Archival Film Festivals
Table 1: Archival Film Festivals Maria-Paz Peirano
Table 2: Archival Sidebars of Major Film Festivals Maria-Paz Peirano
This book encompasses both small events and broad perspectives, reminding us of the experience of real film screenings without simply dismissing the achievements of digital innovation. In an age of purely mechanical and consumerist exhibition practices, this anthology provides an inspired report on the strategies for screening old films as if they were new, new films as if they were part of a tradition, and films of any age as if they were live performances. The cinema-utopia is upon us.
Peter Von Bagh, Artistic Director, Il Cinema Ritrovato, Bologna, Finnish Film Archive, Midnight Sun Film Festival
This book not only makes a valuable contribution to the study of film culture and film festivals but usefully expresses the dilemmas we face as digitisation changes what we see from film’s past and how we choose to see it. It takes an impressively global view of the phenomenon of archival film festivals and usefully locates them within film festival history generally and a history of film preservation. This will be a welcome reference guide in film festival literature.
Luke McKernan, The British Library, Film Archives, London
If the role of the film archive is to preserve the world’s cinematic memory, then the role of the archival film festival is to explore and disclose these cherished memories. Not only is history revealed, but our perception of it is often altered by these screenings. Film Festival Yearbook 5: Archival Film Festivals, edited by Alex Marlow-Mann and written by the founders, programmers and respected participants of these events, is a treasure in itself. This book is for all cinematic adventurers who love to discover the vast stretches of forgotten filmic gems and to celebrate the archival heroes who find, polish and display them for our enrichment.
Dennis Doros, Milestone Film & Video, New York