European Film Gateway

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The European Film Gateway (EFG) is a single access point to the digitized holdings of historical European film documents from numerous film archives and cinematheques, including over 600,000 individual objects from over 60 collections.[1] The European Film Gateway gives access to images, textual materials, and moving images. The vast contents include film stills, set photos, posters, set drawings, portrait photographs, scripts, correspondences, film censorship and visa rulings, out-of-print books, film programs and reviews, as well as newsreels, documentaries, commercials, and feature films. The portal facilitates access to the archives which hold the original materials.


The online portal European Film Gateway is the main outcome of the EU-funded project “EFG – European Film Gateway”. Working with 22 partner organizations from 16 European countries, EFG addressed issues for access to digital content, namely, technical and semantic interoperability, metadata standards, practices for rights’ clearance, and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) management of cinematographic works. The project was coordinated by the Deutsches Filminstitut (DIF) and funded by the European Commission under eContentplus, the Information and Communication Technologies Policy Support Programme (ICT PSP). It ran from September 2008 to August 2011 was supported by the Association des Cinematheques Europeennes (ACE) as well as the EDL Foundation.

Key issues[edit]

Technical interoperability and access[edit]

All metadata provided by the contributing archives is stored centrally in the EFG metadata repository, which was developed in the EFG project.[2] The EFG metadata model is mostly based on the EN 15907: Film identification - Enhancing interoperability of metadata - Element sets and structures standard. Also other models, such as FRBR as well as WPE defined by the OLAC have been considered during establishing the EFG data model.[3]

The multilingual and non-standardised metadata delivered by content providers is harmonised and cleaned before it is ingested in the EFG system. In contrast to the metadata, which is stored centrally, the digital objects remain on individual online platforms run by the archives. Deep links refer the user directly to the objects.

The EFG implemented the technology developed by the Digital Repository Infrastructure Vision for European Research (DRIVER) project. This open service system enables the creation and maintenance of infrastructures capable of supporting the construction of Information Spaces of digital objects collected from various archives. It also permits the creation of service-oriented applications where services can be shared and re-used in other contexts.[4]

IPR management and administration[edit]

The EFG project assessed copyright regulations and legal framework for online use of archival contents through research reports on open content models as well as working with organisations engaged with online publishing of copyrighted archival film material. EFG provided individual network partners with tools for consultations with representatives from rights owners’ and producers’ organisations in order to make the archival material available online.[5]

Follow-up project[edit]

EFG1914 is the follow-up project of EFG. It began in February 2012 and runs for two years. Coinciding with the centenary of the First World War, EFG1914 focuses on the digitization of films and other documents from and relating to the war, making the contents available through the European Film Gateway and Europeana.[6] Like EFG, it is funded by the European Commission and coordinated by Deutsches Filminstitut. The project consortium consists of 26 partners, 21 of which are film archives.

To date, only about 20% of the silent film production of the time remains safe-guarded in the archives and was largely unavailable to the public. EFG1914 significantly simplifies access to these films, covering various fields, from newsreels to documentary, fiction, and propaganda films. EFG1914 also includes anti-war films produced after 1918, which reveal the tragedies of the 1910s.

EFG and Europeana[edit]

The European Film Gateway is linked to Europeana, the digital showcase of Europe’s cultural and scientific heritage. offers search capabilities through millions of digital objects provided by Europe’s museums and galleries, archives, libraries and audio-visual organisations.

Partners and contributors[edit]

Institutions City Role Project Partner
Deutsches Filminstitut Frankfurt Coordinator/Content Provider EFG/EFG1914
Arhiva Nationala de Filme Bucharest Content Provider EFG1914
Association des Cinémathèques Européennes (ACE) Brussels/Frankfurt Organizational Partner EFG/EFG1914
Athena Research and Innovation Center in Information Communication & Knowledge Technologies Athens Technology Provider EFG1914
Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée – Archives françaises du Film Bois d'Arcy Content Provider EFG1914
Cinecittà Luce S.p.A. Rome Content Provider EFG/EFG1914
Cinemateca Portuguesa, Museu do cinema Lisbon Content Provider EFG
Cineteca del Comune di Bologna Bologna Content Provider EFG/EFG1914
Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique Brussels Content Provider EFG1914
La Cineteca del Friuli Gemona Content Provider EFG1914
CNR-ISTI Pisa Technology Provider EFG/EFG1914
Det Danske Filminstitut Copenhagen Content Provider EFG/EFG1914
Deutsche Kinemathek – Museum für Film und Fernsehen Berlin Content Provider EFG1914
Europeana Foundation The Hague Promoting Concertation EFG
Eremo srl Cupramontana Project Management Consultancy EFG
Estonian Film Archive Tallinn Content Provider EFG1914
EYE Film Institute Netherlands Amsterdam Content Provider EFG/EFG1914
Fern Universität Hagen The Hague Content Provider EFG
Filmarchiv Austria Vienna Content Provider EFG/EFG1914
Filmoteka Narodowa Warsaw Content Provider/ Associated Partner EFG
Fondazione Cineteca Italiana Milan Content Provider EFG1914
Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS Erlangen Technology Provider EFG1914
Imperial War Museums London Content Provider EFG1914
Instituto de la Cinematografia y Artes Audiovisuales – Filmoteca Española Madrid Content Provider EFG1914
CulturArts Generalitat. Unidad de Audiovisual y Cinematografía Valencia Content Provider EFG1914
Jugoslovenska Kinoteka Belgrade Content Provider EFG1914
National Audiovisual Institute (Finland) Helsinki Content Provider EFG
La Cinémathèque Française Paris Content Provider EFG
Lichtspiel- Kinemathek Bern Bern Content Provider EFG
Lietuvos Centrinis Valstybés Archyvas Vilnius Content Provider EFG
Hungarian National Digital Archive MANDA Budapest Content Provider EFG/EFG1914
Národní filmový archiv Prague Content Provider EFG/EFG1914
Nasjonalbiblioteket Oslo Content Provider EFG/EFG1914
Österreichisches Filmmuseum Vienna Content Provider EFG1914
Reelport GmbH Cologne Technology Provider EFG/EFG1914
Tainiothiki tis Ellados - Greek Film Archive Athens Content Provider EFG

See also[edit]


External links[edit]