Polygoon (newsreel)

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Images of a new polder in the Netherlands

The Dutch Polygoon-Profilti was a well known cinema newsreel company in the Netherlands from 1919 to 1987. It started with weekly news items in the Dutch movie theaters and lasted until 1987 when it finally surrendered to television news journals, the NOS Journaal being the most popular.

The company was founded in 1919 and then made in-between movies for the silent movies of that time. Starting from 1921 it made ordered custom movies like 'the winning of brown coal "Carisborg"' (name translated) or 'Steam wheat mill "Holland" in Amsterdam' (name translated). Then in 1924 it started with cinema newsreel Hollands Nieuws, first bi-weekly, from the 1930s weekly.

"Where they are not, nothing is happening" was the motto of the cameramen of Polygoon who traveled through the Dutch country to capture news and local culture. There was a lot of competition at that time of other companies like Profilti and Haghefilm. Contracts for sport events, cameramen trying to cheat each other or fighting, aggressive sales methods and vague acquisitions were common.

After World War II the Polygoon-journal had its glorydays; 400 different cinemas weekly showed Neêrlands Nieuws and Wereldnieuws. In 1946 editor Philip Bloemendal (1918–1999) started as commentator; his particular voice became synonymous with Polygoon. Because of the emerge of the television in the late 1950s Netherlands the Polygoon journals lost attention, but it lasted until 1987 when it finally ended.

Cameramen employed by Polygoon had orders to fill their reels, no matter what. If not for news, then with the local celebrity or even shots of famous buildings or locations. Because of this Polygoon now is an archive of Stock footage available for other productions. The Polygoon archive is a valuable historical film archive. It is currently being digitalized by the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision located in Hilversum. Several Polygoon newsreels can also be found on YouTube.

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