DIASTOR at Cinema ritrovato in Bologna

Please join us for our presentation at the festival Cinema ritrovato in Bologna on July 2, 4 pm in the Auditorium, Università di Bologna, Via Azzo Gardino, 33. The presentation will be part of the FIAF Summer School.

In a joint session with a presentation of Timeline of Historical Film Colors, DIASTOR team members Barbara Flueckiger, Claudy Op den Kamp and David Pfluger will give an overview on some of DIASTOR’s latest case studies with a focus on film colors. The panel will be completed by DIASTOR team member Franziska Heller and Caroline Fournier from the Cinémathèque suisse for a final discussion with the audience.


See you there!

DIASTOR Conference Presentations Available for Download

Our speakers have kindly agreed to offer their conference presentations for download. Please go to the DIASTOR conference page where you will find the corresponding links at the end of each abstract. Please follow this blog for further up-dates.

Unsere Referenten haben sich freundlicherweise bereit erklärt, ihre Präsentationen für den Download freizugeben. Sie finden sie auf der DIASTOR-Konferenz-Website, jeweils am Ende der entsprechenden Abstracts. Bitte abonnieren Sie diesen Blog  für weitere Infos.


DIASTOR Conference a Success

The DIASTOR conference in Zurich was a full success! 160 participants attended the conference, many of whom expressed their enthusiasm and gratitude after the event.

Our invited speakers delivered highly interesting and entertaining insights into their fields of expertise and their experience with the transition to the digital realm in restoration and archiving.

The first slot was dedicated to the topic of digitization. It was chaired by DIASTOR team member Claudy Op den Kamp. Giovanna Fossati, chief curator at EYE Film Institute Netherlands and Professor at the University of Amsterdam opened the conference with an overview of a variety of frameworks to restore, conserve and exhibit (archival) film. Tom De Smet, head of collections at Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, explained to the baffled audience what it means to digitize and store thousands of hours of film. Both Giovanna Fossati and Tom De Smet were part of the Dutch digitization program Images for the Future which started in 2007. Their insights highlighted the fact that a public and political debate is necessary to raise awareness and financial means for the transition of the film heritage to the digital domain.

In the second slot, chaired by David Pfluger, Mikko Kuutti, deputy director at National Audiovisual Institute Finland, focused on the film scanning process by connecting technical aspects to perceptual dimensions of seeing film in a theater. Like the Netherlands, Finland started its digitization program several years ago, and Mikko Kuutti has been involved in the transition to digital postproduction and archiving from the start in the early 2000s. David Landolf, founder and head of the Swiss film archive Lichtspiel in Bern opened up a completely different perspective by showing his analog collection, not only of films but also of many film-related pieces of hardware such as cameras and projectors. He discussed the difficult task to maintain and develop a small archive in a state of transition from analog to digital technologies.

After a delicious lunch with a fine vegetarian buffet from the Zurich based restaurant Hiltl, the afternoon started with two very seasoned speakers from the field of distribution. The program was hosted by Franziska Heller from the DIASTOR research team. Dennis Doris from Milestone Films presented their Project Shirley, a huge project investigating, restoring and presenting the films by dancer and filmmaker Shirley Clarke. Project Shirley is a prime example of how an independent filmmaker’s work can gain new attention by digital means of restoration and distribution. Serge Bromberg from Lobster Films in Paris concluded the talks with insights into their restoration and distribution projects from Georges Méliès’ “Voyage dans la lune” [“Trip to the Moon”] to the documentation of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s unfinished masterpiece “L’Enfer”. Bromberg set a focus on financial requirements for the restoration and distribution of historical films.

The day was concluded by a panel discussion concerning the film preservation situation in Switzerland. Compared to the invited speakers’ experience, Switzerland is still in a state of infancy when it comes to digitization of historical films and long-term storage of digital films. Since no national program has been developed so far, panel chair Barbara Flueckiger discussed with her guests current and future strategies. Caroline Fournier represented the Cinémathèque suisse and explained their selection criteria for the digitization and restoration of films. The Cinémathèque’s new vaults in Penthaz were planned without the concern for a digital infrastructure. They will open in 2017. Heinz Schweizer represented SRF Swiss Radio and Television who own the rights for many Swiss classics. He stressed the fact that we have to be very careful with our cinematic heritage and he voted for film-out as a means of long-term storage. Filmmaker and producer Werner “Swiss” Schweizer, who is also a member of the board of the Cinémathèque suisse, explained that their company Dschoint Ventschr has established their own long-term storage system to keep their productions safe for the future. Contrary to panel chair Flueckiger, “Swiss” Schweizer does not support the safeguard of a lab in Switzerland, but opts for a European competition. The fourth panelist, filmmaker Clemens Klopfenstein, could not explain why his world-famous film “Geschichte der Nacht” cannot be digitized and restored for financial reasons at this point. However, the panel clearly showed that Switzerland is split into many particular perspectives and that it lacks a comprehensive strategy.

All the presentations were followed by lively discussions with the audience, both within the auditorium and outside during coffee breaks.

After a dinner break, the new digital restoration (2014) of “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” was screened with live-music by Günter A. Buchwald (piano and violin). Unfortunately Anke Wilkening, who was responsible for the film’s restoration at the Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Foundation, had fallen ill and had to cancel her introduction. DIASTOR project leader Barbara Flueckiger delivered an introduction on short-term’s notice. She explained the restoration with a focus on DIASTOR’s color analysis for the Caligari restoration.

In 2K projection on the cinema screen, the new Caligari restoration looked fantastic, even better than at its premiere at the Berlinale in February 2014.

Many attendees were highly interested in learning more about strategies of digitization, long-term storage and digital distribution.

All the speakers generously provide their slides for download on this site. Check back soon or subscribe to the blog to receive access to them.

We would like to thank all the sponsors and DIASTOR partners for making this happen!

The conference was a co-production with FOCAL, supported by Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen SRF, the Kulturfonds von Suissimage, the Hochschulstiftung der Universität ZürichMemoriav, Swiss National Science Foundation and Dr. Wilhelm Jerg Legat.

We would also like to thank the conference team for their tireless support:
Franziska Heller (head ofcoordination)
Claudy Op den Kamp (layout, editing)
Kristina Jungic (catering, locations)
Brigitte Paulowitz (guests and speakers, technical support)

Special thanks to
Pierre Agthe, Anne Perrenoud and Katja Schudel FOCAL
Corinne Siegrist-Oboussier, Michel Bodmer, Primo Mazzoni and Hans X. Hagen Filmpodium Zurich
Student assistants Michelle Beutler, Isabel Krek, Manuel Joller
Alice Christoffel und Ursula McCormack Institute of Cinema Studies, University of Zurich.




Aus dem Mailing der deutschen Filmakademie

Die Sektion Regie der deutschen Filmakademie hat die Bedeutung des Themas Filmerbe erkannt, wie das Mailing an die Mitglieder zeigt, das uns Markus Imhoof geschickt hat:

Bei der FFA hat sich ein “runder Tisch” zum Thema Filmerbe gebildet. Dazu gehören federführend die Deutsche Kinemathek, sowie das Bundesarchiv, filmtechnische Betriebe und Interessengruppen der Filmwirtschaft. Natürlich auch die Filmakademie, die ja letztlich den Anstoß zur Diskussion gegeben hatte. Die Absicht ist es, einen konkreten Fahrplan zu erstellen, wie die Digitalisierung der vorhandenen Kinofilme und die neuen digitalen Produktionen für die Zukunft gesichert werden können. Hier wird es vor allem einen großen Finanzierungsbedarf geben, der mit der Politik zu besprechen ist. Dabei ist es wichtig, dass wir als Filmemacher die Wichtigkeit dieses Themas – die Bewahrung unserer Werke – in das öffentliche Bewusstsein tragen. Hier sind die Akademie und eben auch wir als Regiesektion absolut gefragt mit Ideen und Aktionen.

Mit unserer Tagung FILM IM DIGITALEN ZEITALTER Filme digitalisieren, sichern und bewirtschaften wollen wir genau eine solche Diskussion in der Schweiz auch initiieren. Noch ist es uns nicht gelungen, breite Teile der Branche zu aktivieren, aber wir bleiben dran!

Jetzt noch anmelden via unsere Tagungswebsite bei unserem Partner FOCAL.


DIASTOR in der neuen Ausgabe des Cinébulletin

Die Mai-Nummer des Schweizer Branchenblatts Cinébulletin widmet einen Schwerpunkt dem Thema “Filmbestände sichern” mit einem grossen Interview zum Thema sowie zu unserer Tagung FILM IM DIGITALEN ZEITALTER Filme digitalisieren, sichern und bewirtschaften. Man kann sich zu unserer Tagung jetzt noch anmelden (siehe Link zu unserem Partner FOCAL auf der Tagungswebsite), die Frist endet am 10. Mai.

Das Titelbild des Cinébulletin zeigt eine von DIASTORs Fallstudien, nämlich den oscarnominierten Film Das Boot ist voll des Schweizer Regisseurs Markus Imhoof, siehe dazu das Video, in dem er das Abenteuer dieses Films schildert.



The DIASTOR buttons have arrived

Alle DIASTOR-Team-Mitglieder und Partner werden an der Konferenz einen dieser Buttons tragen. Sprechen Sie uns in den Pausen an!

All the DIASTOR team members and partners will be wearing a button at our conference. Get in touch with us!


Warum fehlt das Bundesamt für Kultur in dieser Diskussion?

Vor welchen Problemen stehen Schweizer Regisseure und Produzenten, wenn sie ihre Filme digitalisieren, sichern und bewirtschaften wollen? Welche Hilfeleistungen und welche Strategien brauchen sie? Warum fehlen beispielsweise die Mittel, einen der bedeutsamsten Schweizer Filme – “Geschichte der Nacht” von Clemens Klopfenstein – zu digitalisieren?

Wie stellen sich institutionelle Entscheidungsträger wie die Cinémathèque suisse oder SRF Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen zu Fragen der Digitalisierung des Schweizer Filmerbes?

Und warum fehlt das BAK in dieser Diskussion?

Unsere Tagung FILM IM DIGITALEN ZEITALTER Filme digitalisieren, sichern und bewirtschaften ist als Impuls gedacht, verschiedene Lösungsansätze aus Ländern vorzustellen, die der Schweiz um Jahre voraus sind, wie zum Beispiel Holland und Finnland. Einzelne Verleiher haben eigenständig Programme zur Digitalisierung und digitalen Bewirtschaftung Ihrer Bestände realisiert, und zwar haben wir Wert darauf gelegt, nicht reine Selbstläufer zu präsentieren, sondern unabhängige Verleiher, die durchaus schwierige Herausforderungen gemeistert haben.

Es ist uns ein Anliegen, diese drängenden Fragen ins Bewusstsein von Branche und Öffentlichkeit zu bringen und so einen langfristigen, aber dringend nötigen politischen Prozess anzuschieben.

Welche von den vorgestellten Ansätzen können wir in der Schweiz umsetzen und wie können wir ein nationales Digitalisierungsprogramm in die Wege leiten, das den vielfältigen Anforderungen gerecht wird?

Weitere Informationen, den Link zum Anmeldungstool sowie sämtliche Abstracts und Kurzbios unserer Referenten finden Sie auf der Tagungswebsite.


Warum fehlen die Mittel einen der berühmtesten Schweizer Filme “Geschichte der Nacht” von Clemens Klopfenstein zu digitalsieren?


Recent presentations at BFI and at University of Amsterdam

In March 2014, two presentations on DIASTOR and related research projects such as Timeline of Historical Film Colors and Film History Re-mastered were given at the British Film Institute, one in Stephen Street’s Pinewood 1 in London and an additional one at JP Getty Conservation Centre in Berkhamsted. The visit at BFI was connected to a collaboration between the DIASTOR research team with Dr. Ulrich RuedelConservation Technology Manager, Kieron Webb, Technical Projects Officer, and Bryony Dixon, Curator of Silent Film, from BFI.

On April 15, DIASTOR project leader Barbara Flueckiger gave a guest lecture at the University of Amsterdam where she explained the connection of technical investigations and humanities in her research projects. The lecture was initiated by Prof. Julia Noordegraaf, Professor of Heritage and Digital Culture and Director of the Amsterdam Centre for Cultural Heritage and Identity, and Prof. Giovanna Fossati, Chief Curator EYE Film Institute and Professor of Film Heritage and Digital Film Culture. Barbara Flueckiger was also a member of the dissertation committee of Sonia Campanini’s defence of her dissertation on the preservation and presentation of film sound with particular attention to sound practices of the silent era. See more about this lecture and the PhD defence here.


Photographs of Len Lye’s Dufaycolor film “A Colour Box”. Courtesy British Film Institute National Archive.

Regisseur Markus Imhoof zur Digitalisierung

Der Regisseur Markus Imhoof schildert im Interview, warum er seinen oscarnominierten Film “Das Boot ist voll” zweimal fast verloren hat, welche Lehren er daraus zieht und wie die Politik aktiv werden müsste.

Mit dem KTI-Forschungsprojekt DIASTOR hat er einen Plan zur Digitalisierung von fünf seiner Filme entwickelt und versucht gegenwärtig, die Daten von “Das Boot ist voll” zurückzugewinnen. Am 5. Juni 2014 führt DIASTOR in Zürich eine Tagung zur Digitalisierung, Sicherung und Bewirtschaftung von Filmen durch.

Das Interview fand am 10. April 2014 in Berlin statt.

Registration for the DIASTOR Conference Open

As of today, the registration for the DIASTOR Conference is open. It will take place in the cinema Filmpodium in Zurich on June 5 2014.

Our partner FOCAL takes care of the guest administration. To register please follow the link on the DIASTOR Conference website where you will find also all the details concerning the conference. Should you have any problem with registration or would you like to ask specific questions, please send an e-mail to Franziska Heller of the DIASTOR team.

The conference will be tri-lingual in English, German, and French with simultaneous translation into all the languages.

We hope to see you there!



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