Film Restored –The Film Heritage Festival
25 Oct 23–29 Oct 23
Call for submissions
Until April 28
Request for program proposals
Since 2015, the “Film Restored” festival has been dedicated to film heritage in the digital age. Every year restored films are premiered and rediscovered works are shown; filmmakers, restorers and archivists present their field of work; and academics discuss social, political and aesthetic issues in film history and their legacy in the digital world. The 8th edition of the festival is dedicated to the theme of ‘absence’.
Absence denotes something that is either physically absent or perceived to be absent. Cinema is the perfect medium for the dichotomy between presence and absence, visibility and invisibility. What we see on screen is always just a snippet of everything happening beyond the frame which remains inaccessible to viewers; the theme of absence and invisibility also looms large when it comes to the material that ends up on the cutting room floor and the interplay of light and darkness in the film projector.
Perspectives on absence open up a wide range of possibilities for discourse beyond film production and screening. An absence of social diversity, for example, can be found throughout history, both in front of and behind the camera, in and beyond film plots, in the holdings of film collections and where historical emphasis is placed when reappraising them.
With regard to film material, whether seen through the prism of absent social diversity or different contexts, the theme of the festival speaks to films believed to be lost or only preserved as fragments. Looking at the gaps and omissions in this area encourages discussion about how restorers and historians make ethical decisions when reconstructing incomplete material or when scant source material is available. The theme also raises questions about the presence of archives in society as a whole and on political decision-making levels.
Not least of all, absence in cinema history acts as a narrative and formal device. It is often articulated as a type of loss: for example, the loss of a person due to death or separation, or of life as it was known – due to migration, flight or displacement. At the same time, films in various genres portray absence as freedom – such as the absence of social constraints for characters or aesthetic norms for filmmakers. Moreover, lack of technical possibilities (due to expense or because a technique had yet to be invented when a particular film was made) has required many filmmakers to be particularly creative over time, and this is often manifested in innovative style.
Using this multi-faceted topic as a focal point, the festival brings together films, professionals and everyone who loves film.
Topics for submission
Submissions, including new film restorations of all genres, seminar reports, workshops and academic lectures, are encouraged on:
- historically marginalised filmmakers and films
- films that testify to processes of exclusion or invisibility in front of or behind the camera
- films and movements that are characterised by the presence of or commitment to social diversity
- films that present a previously ‘absent’ topic for the first time (or one of the first times) in (film) history
- films that address forms of absence or invisibility within their fictional or documentary worlds (narrative, formal, etc.)
- films in which the lack of technological options was solved creatively (and where the ethical question ‘to what extent should current technical options be considered during the restoration?’ was discussed)
- incomplete films or those for which a lack of source material made reconstruction and restoration difficult
- rediscovered, lost, or forgotten films
- examples of how outtakes, additional sound material, recordings on set, and so on, were handled
- cultural policy regarding the visibility and presence of audiovisual archives in society and politics
Proposals (max. 2 pages) can be submitted via e-mail by 28 April 2023 in German or English to: email@example.com.
A decision on proposals will be made by 1 July, and the program will be published at the beginning of August. Speakers are paid travel expenses and fees to participate in the “Film Restored” 2023 festival on-site.
The »Film Restored« 2023 festival will take place from 25 to 29 October at the Filmhaus in Berlin and online.
The conference languages are German and English. Approximately 15 films will be shown in their original version with English or German subtitles.
“Film Restored” is an event organized by the Deutsche Kinemathek and is supported by the Sunrise Foundation for Education and the Arts, FIAF and Arsenal — Institute for Film and Media Art.
Partners and funding
Partners and funding
Funded by the Sunrise Foundation for Education and the Arts
In cooperation with