National Film Archive of Japan (NFAJ) was inaugurated as the sixth national museum institution in April, 2018. While explaining the name and structure of the new organization, this essay discusses NFAJ's policy and year-long efforts for exhaustively acquiring the extraordinarily huge national film heritage of this country. It also observes on what the film programing at the NFAJ should be in the context of film preservation, and how the digital technology is expected to go with the various kinds of collection providing services, with briefly referring to the super-enhancement which has recently raised the ethical issue in film restoration as an over-the-top digital treatment among the world film archival community.
Currently, many valuable documentary films are at risk of disappearance. Due to the bankruptcy of the production company, film disposal and dissipation have begun. Deterioration of the film is also rapidly progressing. The Documentary Film Archive Project, launched in 2008, has promoted the preservation and utilization of such documentary films. This article reviews the decade of the Documentary Film Archive Project and highlights future challenges and prospects.
"Workshop on movie restoration and preservation" reaches its 14th conference in 2019. During this time, the environment surrounding film production and screening has changed dramatically from “analog” to “digital”. In looking back at the history of movies, contents were lost when the standards changed, from silent to talky or from nitrate to acetate. I proposed this workshop with this fear. With a history of more than 120 years, the only common standard in the world, 35mm movie film, has left a huge amount of motion picture heritage. How do you make use of it? There are a lot of difficult problems such as “vinegar syndrome” and “digital dilemma”. We consider this “workshop” a place for exchanging information among many people who are concerned.
Niigata University's research project “Niigata Regional Image Archive” is collaborating with local towns and villages to discover, organize, store, and digitize images stored in communities in the Niigata Prefecture. Furthermore, it was conceived as a way of reorganizing and analyzing the content, rethinking the social way of image media, and reviving image as a new social cultural heritage. The regional image archive is a device that breaks down the research situation that has ceased to function in the current major social transformation of digitalization. It proves what is at the foundation of social transformation through a boring survey of the local time layer by recursively digitizing, and bootstraps the community itself.
As a birthplace of movie, each European country has its own film archive. Here the author summarize the history and current status of film archives in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Austria through literature surveys and interviews.
The mission of film archives regarding restoration and preservation of motion picture films in both analog and digital form is discussed in terms of 1) preservation of sources (original elements to be restored), 2) restoration of sources, and 3) preservation of reproductions. We then see the migration difficulties that arise when LTOs are used to store digital masters offline for extended periods of time as a concrete example of "the digital dilemma" and present a hybrid solution combining analog preservation and digital restoration.