News & events > EC Report: European film struggling with digitization
03 Mar 2013

EC Report: European film struggling with digitization

A backed third implementation report has found most European film heritage institutions have not yet adapted to the digital revolution and are not able to preserve film digitally. The report, released in December 2012, has expressed concern that current films are being lost, similar those of the silent era where only 10% of the films survived. In the current scenario, over one million hours of European film is locked away in cans in archives, inaccessible to the public and running the risk of being lost because of formatting and interoperability issues.

The European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes has taken a note of the invisibility of European film heritage in the 21st Century. In a press statemenent, Kroes assured, "Film is at the heart of European culture. I am determined to bring this film legacy online and will make a proposal in 2013 that helps Member states and stakeholders to join forces to get films online."

Since 2009, two million films have been viewed on the EU funded online platform, 'Europa Film Treasures'. Only 1.5% of European film heritage is digitized, which is a pre-condition for online access. Despite interest of audiences to watch films online, film lovers are missing out. The report has identified scarce national and private funding, as well as complexity of rights clearance as the main obstacles to digitization. It has also identified Sweden and UK as the best practice countries facilitating digital preservation of films.

Via EC Press Release