Jerusalem Cinematheque's Israel Film Archive Launches new website exposing rare historical treasures to the public

For the first time: The Jerusalem Cinematheque exposes the treasures of the Israeli Film Archive worldwide, allowing a rare glimpse into tens of thousands of titles, from 1896 to the present day
Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 7:00 AM CST

JERUSALEM, Jan. 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Jerusalem Cinematheque's Israel Film Archive Launches new website exposing rare films to the public.

Director of the Israeli Film Archive Meir Ruso & Digitalization project manager Hila Avraham  -...
Director of the Israeli Film Archive Meir Ruso & Digitalization project manager Hila Avraham - Photo by Bar Mayer

Since 1960, the Jerusalem Cinematheque's Israel Film Archive has been responsible for the safekeeping and preservation of original Israeli narrative and documentary film works – from the late 19th century until the present-day. The general public can now explore the Archive's film treasures on-demand and from any place in world. The innovative project, which started seven years ago, involves digitization of rare film and video footage, some of which were stored in tin cans on the archive's shelves for many years and for the first time exposed to the public.

The project includes an advanced digital preservation system and a detailed catalog including 8,000 topics and 4,000 figures, accessible through an interactive search of public figures, dates or landmarks. The materials made available on the site are translated, tagged, and searchable in English and in Hebrew.

The new website features two main on-demand options: The Historical View that travels through Israel's rich history through thousands of rare archival materials such as Albert Einstein in a home movie from 1949, Hollywood stars and politicians' visits to Israel, the streets of Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem during WWI and thousands of other newsreels and home videos; And the Artistic View, with a selection of over 300 feature classics and documentaries made in Israel. Some of the films are accessible to the international audience with English subtitles for the first time, among them is a list of Israeli classic cult films such as Avi Nesher's Sing Your Heart Out, Boaz Davidson's Alex is Lovesick and Halfon Hill Doesn't Answer.

The Historical View is accessible free of charge in both English and Hebrew versions; the Artistic View contains feature films, some of which are accessible for a small fee.

The Israel Film Archive - an active member of the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) - holds over 32,000 titles, recorded on two million meters of film, and 4,500 hours of productions made in Israel, and has a digital storage volume of about 6 petabytes (6 million gigabytes). This project led to the creation of the first advanced professional laboratory in Israel transforming film reels into digital formats at international standards. Disintegrating film reels, often containing the only copy in the world of a particular film and unable to be projected until now, are now archived in 4k quality digital files, saving them from oblivion and guaranteeing a depository for future generations.

Partners include the Jaglom Family Foundation, the Beracha Foundation, the Matanel Foundation, Mifal HaPayis – Israel's National Lottery, the Ministry of Culture and Sports, the Jerusalem Development Authority, and the Ministry of Jerusalem and Heritage.

The digitization of these rare materials featuring filmed moments and creations from decades ago is an exciting endeavor that preserves history and allows people from all over the world to experience and learn of each other's past. These rare visual treasures, now available for anyone, anywhere, have the power to connect people, history, and culture.

The site is now accessible free of charge:

https://jfc.org.il/?lang=eng

Statements:

Noa Regev, Director of the Jerusalem Cinematheque - Israel Film Archive:

"Seven years ago, we embarked on this project intending to transform the Archive into a digital cultural institution accessible to everyone everywhere. The new platform will no doubt serve researchers, filmmakers, culture and history buffs, students, and anyone looking to locate cinematic materials from their personal history."

Dr. Tali Yariv Mash'al, Director of the Beracha Foundation:

"The history of filmmaking in Israel is a treasure trove of images and moments that illustrate the historical processes of the entire region and Israel in particular. We're proud to be among the initiators and donors of this important project."

Dafna Jaglom on behalf of the Diamond Charity Foundation:

"I am very proud of the work done and very happy with the end result. The platform is a public treasure that is accessible for the enjoyment of the general public. I look forward to hearing the reactions and public opinion regarding the use of the site."

Links for use subject to credit:

The Declaration of Independence in Color ,Credit: The Israeli Film Archive and the Jerusalem Cinematheque, Israel state archives

Jerusalem During the British Mandate Credit: Avishai Kfir from the Monsoon Collection

Frank Sinatra Arrives in Israel Credit: Herzliya Studios Archive 

Entertainer and Singer Josephine Baker Visits Israel Credit: The Israeli Film Archive and the Jerusalem Cinematheque, Israel state archives

Press Contact

JWPR – Jonathan Wolf: 972-54-220-9422, Yoni@jwpr.co.il

Albert Einstein From the Gin Stollman Collection The Israeli Film Archive Jerusalem Cinematheque
Albert Einstein From the Gin Stollman Collection The Israeli Film Archive Jerusalem Cinematheque
The Jewish Agency, from Carmel newsreels The Israeli Film Archive and the Jerusalem...
The Jewish Agency, from Carmel newsreels The Israeli Film Archive and the Jerusalem Cinematheque, Israel state archives
Film Actor Kirk Douglas Visits Israel 1964 Herzliya Studios Archive
Film Actor Kirk Douglas Visits Israel 1964 Herzliya Studios Archive

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SOURCE Jerusalem Cinematheque's Israel Film Archive

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