To date, an ever-growing amount of digitised collections including moving images and cinema related material is widely dispersed across Europe. Domain specific research across the various repositories, institutions and countries is still lacking.
Initiated by ACE (Association des Cinémathèques Européennes) and the Europeana Foundation, the EFG project develops an online portal providing direct access to about 600,000 digital objects including photos, posters, film set drawings, newsreels, feature and short films as well as various text documents such as film programmes and censorship cards. Content is mainly provided by 16 European film archives and cinematheques, which are partners in the project. The collections to be made accessible have been selected to serve as a sample representing the actual digitised content held in the film institutions.
The European Film Gateway portal is linked to the Europeana portal, the European digital library, providing integrated access to digital treasures from museums, archives, audio-visual archives and libraries of Europe. By making its archival content available through the common interface of Europeana, EFG contributes to fulfilling one of the major promises of an integrated digital environment: enabling users to search and retrieve different media via one single access point.
While developing the EFG portal service, the project addresses a number of key issues for access to digital content, namely, technical and semantic interoperability, metadata standards, best practices for rights' clearance and IPR management of cinematographic works.
EFG is a Best Practice Network funded by the European Commission under the eContentplus programme, as part of the i2010 policy. The project, which is coordinated by the Deutsches Filminstitut - DIF e. V. (Frankfurt), started in September 2008 and will run for three years. The EFG portal is available at www.europeanfilmgateway.eu.
The EFG project will officially end on 31 August 2011. Until then, around 600,000 objects will be searchable on the European Film Gateway and functionalities will be improved. After the project has ended, the portal will stay online, sustained by the archives of the EFG consortium. Legal agreements developed during the project lifetime regulate the EFG terms of service as well as the handling of data. On 18 and 19 August, the EFG team will get together for a final Plenary Board Meeting in Frankfurt to evaluate and wrap-up three years of co-operation.