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Digitising unique missions films

02/04/2019

These mission films are a genre all of their own. They show the history of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi through the eyes of missionaries from the 1940s to 60s. This preservation, restoration and digitisation of the White Fathers film collection – by KADOC, Cinematek and VIAA – safeguards the future of these images.

At VIAA we’re committed to the sustainable preservation of audiovisual heritage. Alongside the mass digitisation of common carriers, in this project we’re also focusing on digitising a special and unique collection that requires its own approach: the film collection from the Society of the Missionaries of Africa is quite a mouthful, which is why they’re also referred to the ‘White Fathers’. 

The collection consists of more than 750 films (various working copies and language versions of sound and image reels) from which we have reconstructed 83 pieces of content. Employees and specialists from KADOC and Cinematek. have been analysing, registering and restoring the material over recent months. The next step now is to digitise it, which is where VIAA is taking the lead with a tendering procedure in 2019.