Mumbai: Infrastructure Building for Minds and Markets (IBM2) sessions which is a parallel event to the screenings at the ongoing 10th Osian’s-Cinefan film festival, opened with its first session on The Archive Today: Potentials for Research, Creativity and Wealth.
The session witnessed a panel comprising professionals in the field of film archiving like David Weisman, Anthony slide, Robert Gitt, Jeannine Oppewall and Loubna Regragui. The moderator for the session was Osian founder chairman of Neville Tuli.
Sharing the views on archiving, Slide said, "Today the scenario of film archiving has changed considerably and is more focussed on not just preservation but in being more accessible to the audiences."
Following Slide, Gitt who at present has a collection of more than 2,50,000 films in his archive shared his journey on film archiving. He is of the firm opinion that moving images, especially the endangered ones, need to be rescued and preserved for the generations to come. His goal in life is to build a huge film and digital media collection.
"Cinema is a vulnerable art which needs to be protected and preserved. This field needs immense commitment and creativity along with action and a lot more needs to be done for film preservation," said Thomson Foundation for Film and TV Heritage coordination project manager Regragui.
Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Museum Committee co – chairman Oppewall stressed the need for building museums for archiving which according to her are an interpretation of the past in terms of the present. She further stated, "There has always been a common debate, whether museums must be built for the love of art or for commercial reasons."
Expressing his views on archiving, the producer of The Kiss of the Spider Woman, Weisman said, "Negligence towards film archiving is like eating the fruit and letting the tree die." Weisman further reiterated that he had meticulously archived manuscripts, copyrights etc related to The Kiss of the Spiderwoman, and he considered this a creative voyage of his life.
Concluding the discussion, Tuli said, "Taking into consideration the current scenario, problems for preservation is a result of the attitudes of the masses. Osian’s, as an organisation has always strived to preserve every form of art and today it owns the largest collection of film memorabilia comprising of lobby cards, posters, photographs etc."
He further added, "At Osian’s, the process has always been towards placing the arts at the heart of India’s developmental framework".
Interesting and important points were raised towards the end of the session. Digital technology of archiving has become well known as a technique of preservation, but one needs to also understand that it can tend to ruin the effect of the original film. In addition, an individual/ institution building an archive should be an inspiration to the creative minds.