Saving film is so easy these days. Everything is digital, uploaded, saved and backed up. Modern celluloid is converted straight to digital so nothing is damaged or lost. But, it hasn’t always been this easy. In the early days of cinema, film was made from nitrate and was therefore very, very, flammable. Many early films have been lost over the years, nitrate negatives spontaneously combusting for example, and there are even stories of cinemas going up in flames after film reels burnt up.
As such, film preservation has become even more important in recent years, as film historians and archivists are now working hard in a race against time to digitally preserve as many films as possible, not only for the purposes of entertainment, but to better understand the uses, as well as social and cultural importance and impact of cinema at different times and in different places.
The Treasures Collection celebrates the hard work and dedication of film archivists by showcasing a wide range of restored films. Some of these films are classics, some were thought to be lost films until they were recently discovered in archives across the world, and some are still as culturally important today as they were at the time of their production.
The Treasures Collection is headed by the Archive Gala, screening a digital restoration of Shooting Stars (1928), the 18 films in this collection have all been covered in our strand previews, and give an insight into over 90 years of cinema.
Further information on the films in the Treasures Collection including details on the restorations can be found on the BFI website x