Work began today on a three-year project to establish a European film portal – the European Film Gateway (EFG) – with an inaugural meeting in Frankfurt am Main in Germany.
Some 20 partners came together for the event with the aim of setting up this central point of access to European film heritage, overcoming institutional and language barriers.
By 2011, more than 700,000 photographs, posters, texts, audio documents and films and film clips, covering more than 100 years of film history, will be ready for access by professionals, students and film buffs. The platform is set to go online in 2010.
Digitising valuable materials and providing them to the public is a major challenge to film archives and museums everywhere, especially in relation to usage rights.
“To develop mechanisms for the often difficult job of rights clearance will be one of the pioneering achievements of the EFG project,” said Claudia Dillmann, director of the Deutsches Filminstitut and president of the European Cinématheques Association.
Ideally, this project will open up new ways of co-operating with copyright holders, who have an interest in having their material presented on the internet.
The EFG will act as a supplier to Europeana, the platform for the cultural heritage of Europe. Europeana will connect information and digital material from film archives with other material from cultural and scientific heritage. It will enable users quick and easy access to several million digital files from European libraries, museums, archives and audiovisual collections.
The Deutches Filminstitut is responsible for EFG’s co-ordination and the project is funded by the European Commission’s eContentplus programme.
By Sorcha Corcoran