Dear Colleagues and Friends,
The Cinematheque of Macedonia (Kinoteka na Makedonija), as part of the commitment it shares with all of you to preserving the world’s audio-visual heritage, warmly invites you to participate in the 70th Congress of the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) to be held in Skopje, Macedonia, from May 4 to 10, 2014. The Congress will be held a fortnight later than usual due to the Catholic and Orthodox Easter holidays and the May 1 holiday. We look forward to seeing you all in the second week of May.
The theme of this jubilee congress, World War I – A Hundred Years On, marks the centenary of the outbreak of this conflict in 1914. We find this topic compelling in part because the First World War was filmed mainly by companies from the more powerful countries involved in the war—such as Germany, France, and Great Britain—which not only possessed greater technical and human capacities to make films related to the war but were later in a better position to preserve and restore the archive footage that now constitutes much of our world visual heritage. However, we believe there are also many unrevealed and as yet unshown films in the film archives of other countries, including the archives of countries indirectly involved in World War I, as well as in smaller film archives. During the congress we will be proud to present some film materials hitherto unknown both to the public and to many film archiving professionals.
The 70th Congress of FIAF offers the opportunity of presenting, exchanging and comparing films produced immediately before and during World War I. These films documented the circumstances of a world facing an event that would bring unforeseen consequences for the entire international community. The theme of the Symposium also presents an opportunity to discuss the use and misuse of these films for military and propaganda purposes, as well as their use as historic evidence. Another theme that may be developed is the effect that this global event had on international film production, bearing in mind the rapid technological developments that arose as by-products of the war.
The Congress, Symposium, Second Century Forum, Commissions’ workshops and regional meetings will take place at the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts (MANU) in Skopje’s central district, within walking distance of the hotels, the Old Bazaar and the Kale fortress, and close to the Millennium cinema where the film screenings will be held.
It was here on this ground more than a century ago that the Manaki Brothers—the first cinematographers in the Balkans—explored and documented events with their Bioscope n.300 camera. So we are extremely pleased and proud to have the opportunity at this congress to present the collection of their films preserved and deposited in the archives of the Cinematheque of Macedonia.
Finally, let us mention that Skopje is the native city of Mother Theresa, a worldwide humanitarian and the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. Her work has been an inspiration for many generations.
We greatly look forward to seeing you at the 70th Congress of FIAF in Skopje from May 4 to 10, 2014.