Germany’s National Film Archive Invests In Latest Technology From DFT

Federal German Archives, Bundesarchiv, has recently commissioned and installed a state-of-the-art film digitization facility at its Film Archive in Berlin-Hoppegarten.

At the centre of the workflow in the new facility are six film scanners from Digital Film Technology (DFT), which work in combination with processes supporting film restoration, color-correction, and storage, to digitize the Bundesarchiv’s large historical original inventory.

The installation includes three Scanity HDR scanners and three DFT POLAR HQ scanners, all equipped with DFT’s WetGate technology – making this the largest installation of DFT technology in the world.

DFT Scanity HDR film scanners are the industry standard for fast and high-quality digitization. Scanning at 4K, the industry standard, and using patented HDR technology, these scanners work at a very high speed, capturing data from dense black and white materials and color film stocks.

Alongside Scanity HDR, DFT POLAR HQ film scanners also address the specific needs of film archives, they have been developed specifically for archives and facilities handling delicate or damaged film materials for digitization at resolutions in excess of the industry norm. Using DFT POLAR HQ, Bundesarchiv becomes the first archive in Europe to have the ability to digitize very fragile 16mm and 35mm films up to 8K resolution.

Bundesarchiv houses the central German film archive and is one of the largest film archives in the world, storing over 1.1 million film rolls and around 210,000 film titles. The archive includes German films of all genres including newsreels, animated films, documentaries, and feature films – including the oldest publicly performed film from 1895, but also the current winners of the German Film Prize. Titles from the years 1930 to 1945, cinema newsreels ‘Kinowochenschau’ (post-1945) and films from the GDR are held.

With the new digitization facility, Bundesarchiv can restore and digitize motion picture film up to 8K resolution and it is estimated that around four petabytes per year can now be saved digitally, corresponding to around 2,300 film titles per year. 

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