Europa Nostra partners with ACE to advocate for European film heritage

Europa Nostra partners with ACE to champion funding for restoring and preserving Europe's endangered analogue film archives

By Creatives Unite Newsroom
October 30, 2023

Europa Nostra, the European Voice of Civil Society committed to cultural heritage, collaborates with the Association des Cinémathèques Européennes (ACE) to highlight best practices in safeguarding cinema culture through the European Heritage Awards. 

Founded in 2002, the EHA Awards celebrate outstanding heritage achievements across Europe. Film history has often been overlooked when discussing the continent's cultural legacy. Yet films and audiovisual media have been instrumental in shaping European culture over the past 135 years, ever since the Lumière brothers invented the cinematograph in the late 19th century. 

Cinema-going has become ingrained in Europe's cultural fabric, providing entertainment, shared social experiences, and a medium to explore historical and contemporary issues. European productions have delved into colonialism, human rights, inequality and scientific progress - themes central to Europe's modern identity, among other topics. 

Association des Cinémathèques Européennes, established in 1991, coordinates a network of 49 film archives across Europe to safeguard cinema heritage and increase public access. Europa Nostra commends the European Commission's collaboration with ACE to develop EU policies on cinema heritage preservation. Such efforts must be part of a comprehensive EU strategy for cultural heritage. 

As analog formats become obsolete, preserving and restoring cinematic works is essential but requires substantial resources. In a manifesto co-written by the two organisations they call for funding at the EU and national levels to support the restoration and conservation of film archives for the benefit of European societies today and tomorrow. 

Credit: Louise Brooks: European Film Stills, CC02