Thousands of films in archive to be shared with public
A new website of the Culture and Tourism Ministry, which has been prepared to share the productions in the ministry’s film archive with the public, is planned to open this year.
Audio-visual materials have great importance in recording the concrete and intangible cultural heritage in the formation of visual memory and the transmission of world heritage to future generations. For the World Audiovisual Heritage Day on Oct. 27, the theme “Your Window to the World” was determined by UNESCO this year.
Films and sound recordings contain a lot of information about social, cultural, economic, social and political structures, and since they also have aesthetic and artistic features, they are of great importance as one of the most important parts of cultural heritage. According to the information provided by the Culture and Tourism Ministry, the General Directorate of Cinema has been carrying out various studies for this purpose.
In order to share the films in the archive of the ministry with the public, a website in English and Turkish languages has been prepared and is set to be opened this year, and the films have been uploaded to the site. While the remaining films are still being digitized, they will be uploaded gradually when ready.
There are documentary films on the site that sheds light on many events from the last days of the Ottoman Empire to the 1980s, and it is thought that the site will be a window to the world in this context to witness past events.
For audiovisual materials to survive for many years without deterioration, they need to be preserved under suitable conditions, especially temperature and humidity. Even the main material of the boxes in which films are stored is important for the survival of the films. The works initiated by the General Directorate of Cinema to create an environment that fulfills such conditions has been ongoing.
There are approximately 13,500 rolls of film in different sizes in the General Directorate’s film archive, and they have been recorded with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system and boxed.
In order to prevent the films from being taken outside the archive without the permission of authorized personnel, there are magnetic tagging, an archiving program and security systems that work integrated with these tags.
The officials working in the archive can only access it with their passwords and security cards.
Works to digitize nitrate-based films belonging to the film archive have been completed by the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University Professor Sami Şekeroğlu Cinema TV Center.
All films are cleaned and repaired before being scanned. Films that are scanned can be restored frame by frame with the film restoration program. During the screening and digitization of films, content analysis and other information about the films will be reviewed and the missing ones will be completed. Documents such as posters of films will also be scanned with a device and will be stored in digital media. The number of negative films has been increasing day by day through a campaign announced to the sector in order to expand the archive and to ensure that the films are preserved and protected in a more suitable environment. Apart from unexposed films, there are nearly 5,000 videocassettes (BETACAM, HDCAM, VHS, S-VHS, UMATIC) in the archive as well.
Citizens will also be able to entrust 35mm and 16mm films that have an important place in the history of cinema or document films that shed light on the past to their archive. By keeping these films in suitable environments, they will be transferred to future generations.