Chinese Embassy saves 44,000 film reels at Central State Film Archive

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times September 21, 2020 15:42

Chinese Embassy saves 44,000 film reels at Central State Film Archive

TIRANA, Sep. 21 - Humidity conditions in Albania's Central State Film Archive will now function according to European standards, thanks to the support of the Chinese Embassy in Albania.

The Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to Albania, Zhou Ding visited the Central State Film Archive to donate a cooling system, which ensures the storage of 44 thousand reels. This device had been broken for 16 years, making the files vulnerable to destruction as a result of moisture.

In his speech during the inauguration, Ambassador Ding praised the Archive as a place where the precious documents of friendship between Albania and China are kept.

The ambassador said that the Chinese Embassy donated moisture control equipment to the Archive and funded a project to renovate the temperature control system in order to extend the durability of the materials. He expressed enthusiasm for the project, valuing the documents in the Archive as part of Albania's cultural heritage.

In his welcoming speech, the Ambassador stated that thanks to the traditional Sino-Albanian friendship and joint efforts, the cultural and artistic exchange between the two countries has always been very active.

"Last year marked the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Albania and on this occasion, many exchanges took place between the two countries, many Chinese artistic groups visited Albania and the number of Chinese tourists in Albania increased by 20 percent but this Archive also established a collaboration with the National Film Archive of China. We expect that, after this pandemic, we will deepen the cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and all Albanian cultural institutions, to promote the flourishing of the cultures of the two countries, as well as mutual recognition between our two peoples. I am confident that the Film Archive will play a special role in this area," he said.

Ministry of Culture Elva Margariti was also present at the ceremony. In her speech she focused on the mission of the Central Film Archive and its perspective.

"The archive cannot be a film warehouse, the archive should be a museum, a space for dialogue, it should be a space for children, a space of pride for all of us," said Minister Margariti.

The director of the Archive, Iris Elezi added that one of the responsibilities of the Archive has been to create favorable conditions for the longevity of film.

"We are talking about temperature and humidity. As the Ministry of Culture supports us, this year the Chinese Embassy also supports us and finally the humidity in the AQSH is according to standards. The second compressor of the cooling system, built in 1984 by the Swedes is here and we have turned 100 percent the cooling system that did not work ".

In addition, the Archive is working on the restoration of seven short films.


"We are joining forces with the municipality to restore "Concert in 1936", a between the years of '79-'80 these films were developed in the wrong bathroom of chemicals, including 7 feature films, 20 documentaries and 20 animated films. It is a great legacy that has lost its colors. However we still haven't solved this concern despite efforts," said the director of the Archive.

Elezi also stressed that the digitization and inventory of film materials is another work in process for archive specialists.

After the inauguration of the cooling compressor in the Film Archive, the documentary film "Side by Side" directed by Endri Keko was later showcased to the audience.

In the past, Albanian cinema and especially films of the pre-1990s period have been very dear to the Chinese public. Between 1958 and 1999, China imported about 30 Albanian films, with over 10 of them focusing on anti-fascism. Albanian films were probably the only foreign films that could be watched by the Chinese people at that time.

Although nowadays various foreign films are shown in Chinese cinemas, Albanian films still remain one of the favorites for the Chinese audience.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times September 21, 2020 15:42