News & Events

Screening and Study Sessions of All the Surviving Films Shot in Spain, 1896-1910

Invitation to attend the screening and study sessions SCREENING THE PAST (28-29 October 2019),
made to Domitor members by the director of the Filmoteca de Catalunya, Esteve Riambau:

Dear friends and colleagues,


The Filmoteca de Catalunya is pleased to inform you of SCREENING THE PAST, films shot in Spain 1896-1910 event, an initiative which offers the chance to view all the films that have been located or of which we have some record from this period, screened together chronologically.

Almost from the outset, the work carried out by film archives in Spain has largely focused on the recovery of films produced in the early days of cinema. This fundamental area of work comprehensively relates to the practices implemented by both the most relevant international archives and the in-depth film studies carried out for this historical period. The creation of an inventory of Spanish Cinema conserved in Spain’s film archives, an initiative led by the Filmoteca Española with the support of the Spanish Ministry of Culture, has unarguably been a turning point in terms of providing a global view of the film materials conserved in the film archives and preservation centres around Spain.

That project sparked the idea to showcase these resources by screening them in chronological order on the big screen. In order to make this a reality, we approached the film archives with early film material in their libraries: Filmoteca Española, Filmoteca de Valencia and Filmoteca de Zaragoza, all of which were enthusiastic about the project and agreed to loan us the relevant material.

As a result, and following in the footsteps of events such as the Pordenone Silent Film Festival and the Girona Seminar on the Origins and History of Cinema, the Filmoteca de Catalunya has organised a series of screening and study sessions, which will take place on 28 and 29 October 2019 in the Laya Room of the Filmoteca de  Catalunya building in the centre of Barcelona (Plaça de Salvador Segui, 1-9) and include a number of programmes running between an hour and half and two hours .

The event will begin on Monday 28 October, with morning and aftenoon screenings, and continue on Tuesday 29 October, with further morning and afternoon screenings, the  latter of which will be open to the public. This last session will include a selection of restored early films shot in Spain and provide an opportunity for participants to review the content of the sessions for the audience and offer an initial overview of the films.

These sessions are open to anyone interested in this period of cinema, with invitations extended to film archives, universities, local film studios and those involved in programming and audiovisual creation. It will be a unique opportunity to see almost all of the Spanish production unearthed to date, both fiction and nonfiction, as a set on the big screen. The event will bring together a total of 160 titles, along with the relevant information held by the archives on each, with the aim of prompting the development of new ideas and connections in a collaborative environment including specialists and enthusiasts. The seminars are perceived as working sessions, starting points for future projects to help us paint a more accurate picture of what this cinematic era must have been like.

We sincerely hope that this event is of interest to the members of your association. For organisational purposes, we would ask anyone who plans to attend to send an email confirming numbers to our colleague Aurora Moreno before 15 October:

We look forward to seeing you in Barcelona!


Best Regards,

Esteve Riambau
Director, Filmoteca de Catalunya