Chinese Taipei Film Archive (CTFA) joined FIAF in 1995.
International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) is an
organization to promote the preservation of film and
film-related materials, to develop co-operation between
its affiliates, and to promote film art and culture.
After CTFA became a full member, we have established
friendship and exchange experiences on film
preservation, restoration, digital archiving and film
screenings, etc. with FIAF members worldwide. In
November, 2006, CTFA has hosted FIAF Executive Committee
meeting in Taipei. President Eva Orbanz has presented
2006 FIAF Award to Director Hou Hsiao Hsien to
congratulate his contribution in film preservation.
To fulfill one of our missions, to promote Taiwan
cinema, CTFA has loaned prints to many international
film festivals. Another contribution is to provide
prints of Taiwan films screenings overseas organized by
our parent body, Government Information Office,
To introduce new technology, CTFA has organized
“International Symposium and Short Term Training of
Preservation and Restoration” in November, 2006 and
“Digital Restoration Symposium” in July, 2009, over 20
experts and professionals were invited from FIAF members
and non FIAF members.
When FIAF celebrated its 70 anniversary, a manifesto was
presented. This manifesto advocates the importance of
“Don’t Throw Film Away,” and emphasized once again the
importance of film preservation. Here we post it as
Don’t Throw Film Away -
The FIAF 70th Anniversary Manifesto
picture film forms an indispensable part of our cultural
heritage and a unique record of our history and our
daily lives. Film archives, both public and private, are
the organizations responsible for acquiring,
safeguarding, documenting and making films available to
current and future generations for study and pleasure.
The International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) and
its affiliates comprising more than 130 archives in over
65 countries have rescued over two million films in the
last seventy years. However for some genres,
geographical regions and periods of film history the
survival rate is known to be considerably less than 10%
of the titles produced.
On the occasion of its 70th anniversary, FIAF offers the
world a new slogan: “DON’T THROW FILM AWAY”. If
you are not sufficiently equipped to keep film yourself,
then FIAF and its members will gladly help you locate an
archive that is. Film is culturally irreplaceable, and
can last a long time, especially in expert hands.
While fully recognizing that moving image technology is
currently driven by the progress achieved in the digital
field, the members of FIAF are determined to continue
to acquire film and preserve it as film. This
strategy is complementary to the development of
efficient methods for the preservation of the
digital-born heritage. FIAF affiliates urge all those
who make and look after films, whether they be
professionals or amateurs, and the government officials
in all nations responsible for safeguarding the world
cinema heritage, to help pursue this mission.
The slogan “DON’T THROW FILM AWAY” means that
film must not be discarded, even though those who hold
it may think they have adequately secured the content by
transferring it onto a more stable film carrier or by
scanning it into the digital domain at a resolution
which apparently does not entail any significant loss of
data. Film archives and museums are committed to
preserve film on film because:
• A film is either created under the direct supervision
of a filmmaker or is the record of an historical moment
captured by a cameraman. Both types are potentially
important artifacts and part of the world’s cultural
heritage. Film is a tangible and “human-eye readable”
entity which needs to be treated with great care, like
other museum or historic objects.
• Although film can be physically and chemically
fragile, it is a stable material that can survive for
centuries, as long as it is stored and cared for
appropriately. Its life expectancy has already proved
much longer than moving image carriers like videotape
that were developed after film. Digital information has
value only if it can be interpreted, and digital
information carriers are also vulnerable to physical
andchemical deterioration while the hardware and
software needed for interpretation are liable to
• Film is currently the optimal archival storage medium
for moving images. It is one of the most standardized
and international products available and it remains a
medium with high resolution potential. The data it
contains does not need regular migration nor does its
operating system require frequent updating.
• The film elements held in archive vaults are the
original materials from which all copies are derived.
One can determine from them whether a copy is complete
or not. The more digital technology is developed, the
easier it will be to change or even arbitrarily alter
content. Unjustified alteration or unfair distortion,
however, can always be detected by comparison with the
original film provided it has been properly stored.
Never throw film away, even after you think
something better comes along. No matter what
technologies emerge for moving images in the future,
existing film copies connect us to the achievements and
certainties of the past. FILM PRINTS WILL LAST -
DON’T THROW FILM AWAY.
April 2008, Paris (revised July/September, 2008)