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cine-Forum: Analog at a Distance. Film archives and the pandemic
- Michal Bregant, Národní filmový archiv, Prag
- Eva Näripea, National Archives Estonia, Tallinn
- Daniela Tamm and Annika Souhr-Königshaus, Bundesarchiv
- Jay Weissberg, Le Giornate del Cinema Muto, Pordenone

The spread of coronavirus has kept us on the edge of our seats since the beginning of 2020. All areas of life were, and to a large extent still are, severely affected by the measures taken to contain the pandemic. In the discussions about consequences of these developments, one area has received little public attention: Film archives. What impact do social distancing and closed cinemas have on the largely analog work of archives? Through the digitization of cinemas, there has been already a precarious situation for the presentation of film heritage, since many films are still only available on analog 35mm prints. This is further reinforced when films are moved out of cinemas and uploaded to streaming platforms. However, access to analog film prints is not the only problem, but also the research of analog materials, which are essential for the preparation of conferences, archival film festivals, seminars and research work. What is the reaction of archivists, organizers, and researchers to this situation? Does the balancing act between deadlines and avoiding blind spots succeed? How far have the experiences of the restrictions provided a boost to digitization or rather shown the deficits even more clearly? We talk to organizers, archive staff and researchers about their experiences in recent months and discuss how film archives reacted to the new challenges and what consequences are planned for future work.
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