MIDAS project (2006)
The MIDAS project (Moving Image Database for Access and Re-use of European Film Collections) was launched in 2006 as part of the European Commission’s Media Plus programme. The Hungarian National Film Archive joined the initiative in the first year; 18 European institutions and archives participated in it under the leadership of the German Film Institute (Deutsches Filminstitut – DIF). The goal of the project was to establish an international film database (www.filmarchives-online.eu) in which users could look into the collections of European film archives, primarily non-fiction film material, documentary and educational films, newsreels, travel films, advertisements, experimental, sport and animation films. The Film Archive contributed to the joint database with detailed descriptions of film newsreels shot between 1924-1944, including content, filmographic and technical descriptions, in Hungarian and English (351 newsreels).
European Film Gateway (EFG, 2008-2011)
Founded in September 2008, the European Film Gateway (EFG) portal uses a common search engine to provide online access to 550,000 movies, film photos, posters and documents from the film archives and cinémathèque collections of 16 European film archives. Uploaded content can be searched by name, film title, word and year and viewed directly on the EFG page, but by clicking on a link it is also possible to navigate to the website of the content-provider institution.
Since 2011, the European Film Gateway has also been an integral part of the Europeana portal. Operating since 2008, Europeana, the digital library of Europe, was established with the goal of making universally available on a single web platform digitized material of European cultural heritage preserved in several thousand cultural institutions (libraries, museums, archives) all over the continent. With the help of refined search facilities, filters, virtual exhibitions and thematic subpages it is possible to search, browse and surf 53.5 million digitized documents (as at 2017) for educational, research and entertainment purposes.
Digitized material in the EFG project
The Hungarian National Film Archive undertook to make available to EFG 1000 photos dating from the silent film era and early period of sound movies, as well as 1200 film posters made from the beginning of cinema to the 1990s. The Film Archive joined the EFG immediately on its formation, in September 2008. An unfortunate and specific concomitant of the history of silent films is that a significant proportion of these works were destroyed or lost in the course of time. That is why documents accompanying the story of film – screenplays, newspaper articles, reports, reviews, celebrity photos, but primarily shots taken during the shooting of the films, werk-, stand- and advertisement photos, film posters – are important and exciting mainly for experts in the profession and film fans. After all, the content, atmosphere, visual world, technical and artistic standards of lost silent films can be (to a degree) reconstructed from these.
In 2012, the EFG1914 project was launched in preparation for the centenary of World War I, when 701 hours of film material and 6100 film-related documents made during the Great War and kept by 26 film museums and archives were digitized. The Film Archive participated in the project with digitization of eight film documentaries and three feature films, which can be viewed at the links below:
Hungarian silent films that can be viewed online:
Az utolsó éjszaka (Jenő Janovics, 1917)
A föld rabjai (László Békeffi, 1917)
Egy fiúnak a fele (Géza Bolváry, 1924)