BELGRADE – A seminar on digitization of archives and management of digital media began in Belgrade on Tuesday, its organizers being the French National Audiovisual Institute (INA) and the Yugoslav Film Archive as part of the project entitled “Balkans’ Memory”.
The participants were addressed by State Secretary at the Ministry of Culture and Information Zoran Avramovic, French Ambassador to Serbia Francois-Xavier Deniau, Head of the EU Mission to Serbia Vincent Degert and Director of the Yugoslav Film Archive Radoslav Zelenovic.
Degert voiced satisfaction over the fact that the third seminar, after Zagreb and Tirana, is being held in Belgrade in the renovated building of the institution which has the fifth largest archive in Europe and tenth largest in the world.
Degert said that one of the main goals of EU-financed projects is to draw attention of political actors to the importance of cultural projects and creation of a regulatory framework and conditions for realization of these projects.
Deniau noted that in Serbia, the picture is playing an extremely important role, which he has seen at first hand while touring the Yugoslav Film Archive, whose collection includes the Lumier Brothers’ camera and many old movies.
Deniau undescored that the audiovisual funds of Serbia and the Balkans are very rich, adding that they deserve to be preserved and available to the public.
Avramovic said that the Serbian Ministry of Culture is working on the introduction of a legal obligation to archive audiovisual works.
Serbia’s strategy for development of culture envisaged the completion of national cultural heritage digitization that would help strengthen the Serbian cultural identity, improve cooperation with other cultures in the region and Europe, promote cultural heritage in European and global media centers and reduce processing costs, Avramovic said.
The archive’s director said that the “Balkans’ Memory” program, which is dedicated to the Western Balkans’ heritage, is aimed at training staff and raising awareness about the importance of preservation of audiovisual heritage in the region.
Zelenovic noted that the Yugoslav Film Archive started digitizing its collection several years ago, and that a large part of the job was completed thanks to the donation of the European Agency for Reconstruction and Development.
The seminar is being conducted by experts from this domain, and is dedicated to professionals from movie and TV archives from regional countries.