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More than 1,600 films from Moldova Film archive will be digitized, with the support of the European Union and the U.S. Government

State-of-the-art equipment will ensure the transfer of films from Moldova Film archive on digital media. Thus, over 1,600 films have the chance to return on TV and the big screens.

With the support of the European Union, an ultrasonic film washer has been purchased. The U.S. Embassy in Chisinau equipped in 2021 a digitization laboratory to restore and preserve its archive feature and documentary films, representing an important part of Moldova’s historical, cultural, and artistic heritage. At the same time, the technicians were trained to ensure smooth transfer of films from the archive into digital format.

“For almost 70 years, Moldova Film has produced outstanding cinematographic works that represent the rich narrative tradition of Moldova and give us an idea of ​​the way Moldovans lived, worked and dreamed years ago,” stated Kent D. Logsdon, the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Moldova.

The initiative to digitize films of the Moldova Film archive was selected for funding following a competition conducted by the EU Confidence Building Measures Programme, implemented by UNDP, which included a consultative vote from the public.

“Promoting culture as a tool for peaceful inter-community relations is a key-element of the EU Confidence Building Measure programme, implemented in collaboration with UNDP, to strengthen people-to-people relations and cooperation between the two banks of the Nistru River. We are glad that we, the European Union, are able to contribute to harnessing the golden archives of the cinema of the Republic of Moldova, for the benefit of its citizens!” stated Jānis Mažeiks, Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova.

The digitization process has begun in 2021 with 10 fiction and 20 documentaries that have been presented on Moldova 1 and Moldova 2 TV stations. The first animation film to undergo digitization is “Haiducul”, the winning film at the 1986 Cannes Film Festival, the short film section.

“Unfortunately, the current conditions of keeping the films on film stock could no longer ensure their longevity. We believe that the support of the EU and U.S. is opportune and thanks to this significant support, the unarchiving and digitizing equipment provided to Moldova Film, the older movies, those that are considered the golden archive, will be brought to light again. Thus, the new generations will be able to see the movies with which their grandparents and parents grew up,” said Alisa Grecu, Deputy Director of Moldova Film.

The digitized movies from the Moldova Film archive were broadcast at the Odeon cinema in Chisinau, but also in other localities in the country.

“Locally produced movies and animations are a wealth and an integral element of cultural heritage. Safekeeping them through their digitization is essential for maintaining this heritage and for inspiring the new generations to learn about the past generations as well sustain this important creative industry,” mentioned Dima Al-Khatib, UNDP Resident Representative to the Republic of Moldova.

Moldova Film Studio has a cinematographic collection which is considered national heritage comprising over 1,600 films, of which 180 – fiction movies, 1050 – documentaries, 109 – animation movies, 231 – “Sovietscaia Moldavia” newsreels, all accumulated during almost 70 years.

For more information, please contact Lia Chetrari, Media and Communication Consultant, tel.: 069926762 or email:  lia.chetrari@undp.org.

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