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Maine Jewish Film Festival Presents: "The Role of Archive in Restoring and Conserving Identity" - CONFERENCE

The Holocaust and Human Rights Center and the Maine Jewish Film Festival present a free conference on archive materials intended to inform and engage scholars, students, filmmakers and the general public in the critical role archive plays in a social and cultural context.  Whether family photos, official documents, newsreel or home movies, archive materials are invaluable to both the individual and a society's identity. Who gathers these materials and how are they cataloged, preserved and made accessible to the public?

This conference is made possible through the support of the Bernard Osher Jewish Philanthropies. 




P.O. Box 7465 Portland, ME US 04112-7465



Tuesday, March 25 12:00pm - 9:00pm - Michael Klahr Center, University of Maine Augusta 4:00pm - Breakout sessions with individual presenters 5:30pm - Dinner 7:00pm - Screening - Harbour of Hope, followed by q&a with the filmmakers



The conference will begin at 12:00 with a "Lunch and Learn" session discussing archive and archive sources in broad terms. Following lunch from 1:30 - 4:00 will be presentations by the conference participants:

Karan Sheldon - Co-founder, Northeast Historic Film, Bucksport, Maine

NHF has been an active archive for more than twenty five years, collecting and preserving the film and video record of northern New England (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts) and providing public access to the history and culture of the region embodied in it. Their collections contain more than 10 million feet of film and more than 8,000 hours of video, most of it unique and irreplaceable. NHF cares for film from hundreds of northern New England places in a three-story temperature and humidity controlled vault building. Collectively their holdings constitute a record of 20th century regional culture seen from countless angles: the factory floor and the farm, in the woods and at sea, at home with our families and on the streets of our hometowns. NHF also collects moving image technology such as projectors, cameras, and editing equipment to provide an overall picture of the filmmaking process, with a strong emphasis on amateur filmmaking. The NHF collection also includes still images, from production and publicity shots to postcards of cinemas. They maintain regional and national cinema material including business records, scrapbooks, and advertising ephemera.

Magnus Gertten and Lennart Strom - Auto Images, Malmo, Sweden

Auto Images is a film and television production company based in Malmö, in the south of Sweden. Founded in 1998, the company is owned and run by Magnus Gertten, director/producer, and Lennart Ström, producer. Auto Images is renowned for their numerous documentaries, produced in co-operation with Sveriges Television (SVT) and screened on TV channels and at film festivals worldwide. Magnus Gertten's recent documentary Harbour of Hope/Hoppets hamn was awarded with a Special Jury Mention at Krakow Documentary Festival, Poland 2012 and is currently being screened at international film festivals. Auto Images has also produced several successful fiction projects that have premiered and won awards at the Berlin Film Festival and gone on to significant acclaim. Since 2005 the company has been producing the DVD series Mitt Hjärtas Malmö (From Malmö with love), based on private archive footage from Malmö. Until today Auto Images has released 11 DVD volumes, nearly 16 hours of archive film, depicting Malmö between 1905-2004.

The original archive material, on which Harbour of Hope is based, was mainly shot on April 28, 1945, the day several hundreds of concentration camp survivors came to Malmo on ships from Copenhagen. Many of them came from the Ravensbrück camp, but also from other camps. Auto Images are currently looking for other survivors coming to Sweden in this period, specifically on that day or during that time period.

Sharon Rivo - Co-founder and Executive Director, National Center for Jewish Film at Brandeis University, Waltham, MA

The National Center for Jewish Film is a unique motion picture archive, distributor, resource center and exhibitor. NCJF's ongoing mission is the collection, preservation and exhibition of films with artistic and educational value relevant to the Jewish experience and the dissemination of these materials to the widest possible audience. NCJF exclusively owns the largest collection of Jewish content film in the world, outside of Israel. The Center's 15,000 reels of feature films, documentaries, newsreels, home movies and institutional films date from 1903 to the present. Founded in 1976, NCJF is recognized as a world leader in the collection, restoration and exhibition of Jewish art and culture. The center has led the revival of Yiddish Cinema, rescuing many languishing films from oblivion. NCJF's priority is the preservation and restoration of rare and endangered film materials. To date, the Center has restored more than 100 rare and orphan films that document the diversity and vibrancy of Jewish culture, including 44 Yiddish films.

Diane Afoumado, Chief, International Tracing Service Research Branch, US Holocaust Memorial Museum

At the USHMM, the Holocaust Survivors and Victims Resource Center uses the archives of the International Tracing Service to help people research their family history using several millions of Holocaust-era documents. Since 2007, the USHMM has been receiving digital images of the documentation at the International Tracing Service (ITS), an archive established by the Allied Powers after World War II to help reunite families separated during the war and trace missing relatives. The physical archive itself is located in Bad Arolsen, Germany. The ITS collection contains records about internment camps, concentration camps, forced labor camps, ghettos, transport records, and Displaced Persons camps. Over the next several years, the Museum expects to receive more than 150 million digital images of archival material from the ITS collection. Using records of the ITS along with documents in the Museum’s extensive archival collection, researchers in the Holocaust Survivors and Victims Resource Center are able to trace the fates of many individuals during the Holocaust.

Visit the Maine Jewish Film Festival website,