Unlocking the Mysteries of Archives

Berlinale Industry Events

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Festival Screening Tue Mar 02 15:30 – 16:45

Film archives all over the world are holding tremendous treasures. On the other side, they are often called to be gatekeepers - we need to know more about how to approach this archives and how to work together. Three of the most important and worldwide best known international archives -

Bundesarchiv (Germany), the Library of Congress (USA), the Imperial War Museum (United Kingdom) present an exclusive insight for all interested users. In this panel we will look at the different "communication channels" and why it sometimes seems so difficult to get access and what users can do, to speed up procedures, and deal with rights and copyright. We want to create a better understanding of the archive procedures in the background, and most importantly, how to create understanding for both sides.

Only when film heritage is accessible, it is visible and archives are perceived as they understand themselves to be: as an almost infinite cabinet of wonders of film history, in which there is still much to be discovered and creatively communicated.

Session Producer: Monika Preischel - Visual Researcher / Archive Producer (Germany)

Monika Preischl has been working in the field of archive research and as an archive producer for 15 years and has contributed to more than 30 international documentary and fiction film productions. Until 2005, she studied Experimental Film Design as a master-class student with Heinz Emingholz at UdK Berlin. She is a freelance lecturer of research methods and seminars on working with archive footage at various art and film schools. Monika lives in Berlin and works as a freelance „bildfinderin“.

Moderator & Panelist: Dr. Adelheid Heftberger - Head of Film Access Bundesarchiv (Germany)

Adelheid Heftberger is currently Head of Film Access at the film department of the Bundesarchiv (Berlin). Degrees in Russian studies, Comparative Literature and Library- and Information Sciences. Member of the Cataloging and Documentation Commission of FIAF and active in the Open Science movement.

Panelist: Debbie Ford - Freelance Archive Researcher and Archive Producer/ CQF Doc (France)

Debbie worked at the Imperial War Museum and the BBC archives, before moving to production, when film research still meant international travel to view old nitrate reels. The digital revolution transformed methods, but not the researcher’s role: delivering the best footage, at the best price. In Paris, Debbie co-founded a research company, CQF-Doc. She has written and directed several archive documentaries.

Panelist: Fiona Kelly - Film Curator (UK)

Fiona holds an MA in History and has extensive experience working in film archives, dealing with researchers and producers on a variety of commercial productions. She has been a Film Curator at IWM since 2010. Fiona is currently co-supervising a Combined Doctoral Partnership PhD on The cameramen’s experience of the Second World War: a study of the Army Film and Photographic Unit’s dope sheets. In addition to the work of the Army Film and Photographic Unit in the Second World War, her research interests include the representation of women’s roles in the home, workplace and services in the world wars as reflected in the IWM film collection, and MOI short films written/produced/directed and edited by women.

Panelist: Mike Mashon - Head of Library of Congress Moving Image Section (USA)

Mike Mashon is Head of the Library of Congress Moving Image Section, where he has responsibility for one of the world's largest film and video collections. He holds a B.S. in Microbiology from Louisiana State University, a Masters in Radio-Television-Film from the University of Texas-Austin, and a Ph.D. in Radio-Television-Film from the University of Maryland. He is the author of several articles on cinema and television history, most recently on Gloria Swanson at United Artists in United Artists (Routledge, 2020).


Ford, Debbie

Freelancer Archive Researcher and Archive Producer

CQF Doc (France)

Kelly, Fiona

Film Curator

Imperial War Museum (UK)

Mashon, Mike

Head of the Moving Image Section

Library of Congress (USA)

Preischl, Monika

Visual Researcher / Archive Producer


Heftberger, Dr. Adelheid

Head of Film Access

Bundesarchiv (Germany)

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