Cinémathèque de Bretagne in Brest: “Our online collection is as important as that of Netflix! »

Documentary or activist films, wedding and family films, films on the work of sardine boats in Douarnenez, sailors in Brest, fishermen in Guilvinec or Camaret… But also more contemporary amateur films, fiction or not, which tell the story of Brittany and the Bretons of today. In total, there are more than 25,000 films and 50,000 elements (a film can be spread over several reels) and a collection of equipment among the richest in France (3000 projection devices, cameras and film processing devices ) which today make up the funds of the Cinémathèque de Bretagne, in Brest (it also has a branch in Rennes and Nantes).

Preciously stored in their premises and, for film and video, a few meters away, in the bats of the Quartz (first provincial national scene, which has just reopened its doors after three years of work), these treasures of History, last witnesses of times and customs now bygone, do not remain to gather dust for all that. “The main missions of the Cinémathèque de Bretagne (ociation under the 1901 law recognized as being of general interest created in 1986, a pioneer in the field, which has eleven employees and two apprentices) are the collection, preservation/conservation and promotion of these documents », explains Gaïd Pitrou, director of the Cinémathèque since January 2021.

Collecting “makes it possible to reconstruct part of the audiovisual memory of a region and beyond,” explains the Cinémathèque team. If this memory focuses mainly on films shot in Brittany, it also collects images shot by Breton amateur filmmakers around the world – generally amateur films, current affairs films and institutional documentaries. Calls for collections are regularly launched… and it works! “Every week, especially since confinement, we have a lot of deposits – especially dandruff! »

Next comes the preservation and conservation of documents. “For the oldest, those kept in the bats, we regularly check their humidity and ambient temperature to avoid any deterioration. » They are then gradually digitized to allow their consultation internally or on the online database (10,000 films are already available). “We have an online viewing fund as important as the base of a platform like Netflix,” says Gaïd Pitrou with a smile. Except for us, it’s free! »

As digitalization takes some time, everything is not yet available online, hence the need to promote this rich content on a regular basis. “All year round, we respond to numerous requests for documentary research,” continues Gaïd Pitrou. Either the sale of images – a bit like the INA, generally to image professionals (programmers, directors, producers, etc.) but also for exhibitions (museums or others), or for simple distribution at the request of cinemas, cultural structures, or ociations”. The audiovisual archive is increasingly in demand

Each year, the Cinémathèque de Bretagne also participates in the development of programs with the Musée de Bretagne, the Écomusée du Pays de Rennes, the Saint-Brieuc Museum of Art and History, the Clair Obscur and Côte Ouest ociations. , for exhibitions, screenings or festivals in particular. For example, this Tuesday from 8 p.m., a special session on oil spills and especially that of the Amoco Cadiz, the most important in history (227,000 T of oil over 150 km of coastline), which hit northern Finistère in 1978 and caused an unprecedented ecological disaster, will be projected into the nave of the PAM, a former printing works in Brest, transformed into a place of celebration and culture. Several films will be shown and Robert Kernez, an amateur filmmaker specializing in the subject, will speak during the session (Entry: €3; reduced rate: €1; free with P Culture).

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