Report on Canadian Film Archives

  • Gerald Pratley


INTERNATIONALLY, there are Archives, Archives, Archives, from Film to TV - but where to put them and what to keep? Canada makes some progress. At almost every film festival, internationally, when early print of a classic turns up, the question permanently asked is where did that print come from? And the answer is usually from such and such an Archive in some part of the world. For Canadians, the Archive was a seldom visited place in Ottawa, where somewhere films in dented cans or broken boxes, hardly separated from papers, journals, and material having little to do with movies. In spite of the clamour from film enthusiasts, the federal government remained unmoved, while the staff, without temperature control, tried to keep them from becoming dead reels. Now, after years of pleading and asking the Dominion Government has finally built an astonishing film archive across the river from Ottawa in...