The Israeli Film Archive is home to hundreds of film collections which chronicle the land’s history, practically from as far back as the advent of the movie camera. These collections are comprised of feature-length fiction films, documentaries, newsreels, student films, public service ads, art films, home movies, and lots more. The total length of all rolls of film adds up to a whopping two million metres. Stored with them in the archives are also tens of thousands of professional videotapes, and roughly 1.5million gigabytes of digital media.

The archive, located in Jerusalem’s cinematheque, Israel’s primary and largest film centre, is the only place in the country that is home to a wealth of film footage as vast as this. The archive is also the sole facility where these materials are stored in their original masters of only the highest quality: a filmic negative in an analogue world, and master copies in a digital world.

The collections made their way to the archive from a wide range of diverse sources: from official establishments such as the Israel State Archives and The Israeli Film Service to public and private film archives from all over the world, local and international filmmakers, leading studios and production houses, kibbutzim, and rare family gems unearthed in basements and private storage rooms, that only ended up with the archive further down the line. All of these sources entrusted the archive with their materials in the knowledge that this is where they would be best kept, following the most professional, top-quality industry standards for future generations.

The collections department is ever-growing with regular contributions, acquisitions, and collaborations with sister archives and overseas labs. To that end, it relies on donations from Israeli and international filmmakers and philanthropists. In 2020 alone, the archive welcomed 800 new additions of both old and new titles to its catalogue. Thanks to the generosity of the owners of these collections, a great many titles have been made available online to home viewers and scholars alike on the archive’s website.

Each collection shines a unique light on Israel’s complex, diverse and multifaceted history, culture, and society. Many home movies capture unconventional aspects of everyday life through the years; this, in contrast to the official narrative as seen in the newsreels. The feature films offer an artistic expression of the historic reality, whilst the documentaries are a showcase of narratives from multiple points of view, many of which hail from well outside the mainstream.

It is a veritable treasure-trove that covers a range of topics from history and current affairs to culture, sport, civics, and art. The Israeli Film Archive has been entrusted with the task of safeguarding this treasure-trove which it does, following nothing but the most professional industry standards and practices, and the most high-end technology. This page is but a teaser of the range of collections available at the archives and is updated periodically.

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