Bergman archive in jeopardy

Execs need $600k to digitize director's papers

Lack of coin has put the future of the Ingmar Bergman archive in jeopardy, just a few days after the multihyphenate’s death.

The annual budget for the archive is 2 million kroner ($250,000), provided by the Swedish government. But execs say they need $600,000 more to digitize Bergman’s papers. His early notes are written on paper so thin that it is almost impossible to leaf through them.

There is also uncertainty as to whether the government will continue to back the archive, which employs five staffers, after the current round of funding ends in February.

The archive was founded by the Swedish Film Institute in collaboration with the Royal Dramatic Theater, pubcaster Swedish Television and Nordic producer-distrib Svensk. Profits from the performances of Bergman plays at the Royal Dramatic Theater go to the archive.

The archive’s Astrid Soderberg-Widing said: “I think we will be able to keep the archive and the webpage running, but to digitize the archives, we need at least another $600,000. It’s an international scandal that the Swedish state does not seem interested in providing the money we lack.”

A possible savior may be the wealthy Bonnier media family, which owns the TV4 web and newspapers Expressen and Dagens Nyheter.

“We will see what we can do to save the archives,” said a Bonnier rep. “It is important not only to us; it is important for filmmakers, for scholars and for the Swedish culture that this heritage is not destroyed or wasted.”

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