ROME — The European Union is spearheading an effort to help preserve the fading film legacy of all countries overlooking the Mediterranean Basin, including Egypt, Israel and Turkey.
A three-day confab and workshop titled “Restoration and Conservation of Film Heritage in the Mediterranean” is being held Oct. 21-23 in Italy at the venerable Bologna Cinematheque — which supervises conservation of Charlie Chaplin’s 90-film oeuvre. Event is sponsored by the EU-funded Euromed Audiovisual II Program.
Head honchos from film archives and cultural institutions from Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon — besides reps from the above-named countries — will attend panels thrashing out a wide range of preservation issues and discuss the prospects of establishing a proposed joint network called Mediterranean Film Archives.
According to Euromed, Israel currently has the largest film archive in the Middle East, holding around 50,000 prints in film and video, including the first motion picture footage of the Holy Land, which was shot by the Lumiere brothers in 1895.