AFA celebrates the 2021 World Day for Audiovisual Heritage

The World Day for Audiovisual Heritage (WDAV is held annually on 27 October. It is key initiative for both UNESCO and the Coordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations (CCAAA) to honor audiovisual preservation professionals and institutions that safeguard our heritage for future generations. Around the world audiovisual archives join together annually on this day to celebrate their work with events that not only highlight the vulnerability of these valuable materials, but also to celebrate the often, unheralded work of the institutions that provide protection and preservation, ensuring their availability in the future.

This year’s theme is “your window to the world“. As declared by the CCAAA:

Audiovisual materials can tell your story, your truth, and your presence. They provide a window to the world, allowing us to observe events we cannot attend, hear voices from the past who can no longer speak, and craft stories that inform and entertain. Audiovisual content plays an increasingly vital role in our lives as we seek to understand the world and engage with society.

To honour this year’s World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, AFA is participating in talks and has several activities lined up.

1. #SaveOurFilm 2021

Save Our Film (#SaveOurFilm) is a film preservation advocacy campaign created by the Asian Film Archive (AFA) in 2010 and relaunched in 2016. The initiative hopes to address the challenges of preserving digital materials in addition to that of analogue formats like films and tapes. Saving our film allows future generations to continue enjoying Asia’s cinematic gems and heritage.

This year’s campaign video features filmmakers, actors, writers, educators from all over Asia who speak about their experience and the need for film preservation. Learn more about how you can volunteer with AFA, submit your film or contribute to AFA’s film preservation efforts here.

2. Dear Future: What Digital Preservation Means for You

AFA archivist Chew Tee Pao will be speaking about the issues and challenges in preserving films and related materials in the digital format, as well as highlight the importance of managing and caring for your film data and how digital preservation is carried out to preserve our memories for posterity. The talk will be held online on 27 October at 6pm. For more information, click here.

3. Call for 1980s Singapore Short Films

Save for a few disparate records and a handful of viewable materials, not much else is known about Singapore’s cinema scene in the 1980s. In order to shed more light on this decade, AFA would like to invite submissions for any short films or videos made during this decade for possible preservation and screenings. We welcome contributions from filmmakers, collectors, companies and the public alike. More info here.

4. Screenings of restored films Floating Life (1996) and They Call Her… Cleopatra Wong (1978)

AFA stresses the importance of film preservation and the important work film archives all over the world do through its Restored series. Newly-restored by and presented in partnership with National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA), AFA will be screening Floating Life (1996) on Friday, 29 October 2021 at 8pm. Floating Life is a key work by Hong Kong Second Wave filmmaker Clara Law. The film aptures the experiences of displacement through a poignant and charming portrait of a family dispersed across Germany, Hong Kong, and Australia. Tickets can be purchased here.

On Sunday, 31 October 2021 at 5pm AFA will be screening They Call Her… Cleopatra Wong (1978) which is newly-restored by AFA in 4K. The film was a Singapore-Philippines co-production and was the first action film of its time starring a Singaporean actress. The restoration of They Call Her…Cleopatra Wong was made possible using a 35mm German-dubbed release print from the collection of Filmarchiv Austria, and a 16mm release print with burned-in Danish subtitles from the Danish Film Institute. (This screening is currently sold out)

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