Napoleon 1927

The BFI National Archive, one of the world’s largest and most significant archives of film and television and at the forefront of latest techniques in preservation and digitisation, announces a new development programme Archive Futures. This unique programme gives archive professionals from around the world the opportunity to learn from the BFI’s internationally renowned technical experts and curators. The course runs from 22-24 February, 2017 at BFI Southbank and the BFI National Archive, Berkhamsted. Specialist film restoration and archival R3storeStudios.com are kindly sponsoring this unique 3-day training programme.

The public’s appetite for archive content is clear from the huge critical acclaim for BFI National Archive restorations such as The Great White Silence and The Epic of Everest and the recently released Napoleon. The BFI’s Britain on Film project with 7,000 newly digitised titles released online has already been enjoyed by over 20 million people across the UK. However, in order to ensure the continuing preservation and accessibility of our film and television heritage we must develop new skills and technologies so that our rich screen history can be enjoyed for generations to come.

The scale of the BFI National Archive’s collections have demanded radical solutions and clear models of practice which can be copied and adapted for use in any collection, large or small by other archive collections.

Archive Futures is aimed at archive and collections specialists and managers who want to share their own experiences and learn from professionals at the cutting edge of archive practice as we enter a new digital age. The BFI has been at the forefront in creating systems to bring archive working practices up to date and has pioneered data capture and cataloguing systems which have been adopted across the world.

old film projector with dramatic lighting

This course is unique in offering a wide range of experience and expertise from the working practitioners at one of the world’s most significant and busiest archives. The course is led by key staff from the BFI National Archive: Charles Fairall, Head of Conservation and Robin Baker, Head Curator. They will be joined by Ron Martin, Head of Collections Management; Helen Edmunds, Collections Manager; Kieron Webb, Film Conservation Manager; and Stephen McConnachie, Head of Date Collections & Information.

The BFI National Archive was founded in 1935 and was a founding partner of the Federation International des Archives du Film (FIAF). Recent developments in creating new standards for cataloguing and creating digital records for film and associated collections have been adopted by many other archives and libraries.

Archive Futures was successfully piloted in early 2016 and previous participants were welcomed from China Film Archive, Film Archives of Estonia, Museum of Film Argentina, Museum of Cinema Portugal, National Library Board Singapore, National Film Centre Tokyo, National Film Centre of Ukraine, Riofilme Brazil and Thai Film Archive. 81% of delegates rated the course Excellent and 94% rated the course relevance to their work as Excellent.

Charles Fairall, Head of Conservation, BFI National Archive said:

“The BFI is passionate about sharing our knowledge with archivists around the world and Archive Futures will provide essential learning and knowledge about the latest techniques and innovations in professional film and television archiving for the 21st century. These skills are vital if we are to continue preserving, restoring and making our film and television history accessible for generations to come.”

Jo Griffin, Chief Operating Officer, R3store Studios said of the sponsorship:

“We are very proud of our sponsorship of this valuable and important training programme provided by the BFI. Our involvement and support aims to encourage global content owners and nations to understand and leverage their own important film archive assets. Developing and growing skills and networks through world-leading archives and restoration specialists has so many possible benefits that it seems timely and important that we lend our specialist techniques and expertise to extend skills- sharing to preserve the world’s cultural and historical archive heritage. We’re all really looking forward to meeting the delegates in February.”

The course is limited to 20 participants and will take place in English over 3 days from 9am – 5.30pm, followed by evening social activity. The cost is £1,950. For bookings and all other information: archivefutures@bfi.org.uk

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