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Film Collection

The UNESCO film collection includes films made between 1949 and 1983 (in both 16 mm & 35 mm formats) and videos (dating from 1983 on), produced or co-produced by the Organization or left in deposit by Member States. The collection represents about 12,000 film cans and 5,000 videos. For more than 60 years UNESCO has alerted the international community to the importance of preserving valuable archive holdings and library collections all over the world. With the adoption in 1980 of the “Recommendation for the safeguarding and preservation of moving images” audiovisual collections were officially recognized as worthy of preservation. UNESCO is a partner in the “The Archives at Risk Project”, launched by the International Federation of Television Archives (IFTA). In this framework, in co-operation with INA (French National Audiovisual Institute), UNESCO has embarked on the digitization of part of its audiovisual heritage.

Film of the Month

    1953 – Black and white - 27 minutes – English version

This is a simple story of the members of a peasant family in Sicily, who cannot communicate with their emigrant son, because they are unable to read or write. Their problem is solved once they start attending evening classes at the village school. This film was made during a campaign against illiteracy and was primarily designed for showing in Sicily and South Italy.

After the end of the 2nd world war, the Italian Government undertook an extensive campaign against illiteracy in southern Italy – statistics from the 1930’s indicated 40% of illiteracy on Sicily, 46% in Lucania and 48% in Calabria. With the war, the problem became more difficult to solve than ever. UNESCO decided in 1952 to include the Italian National League for the Struggle Against Illiteracy among its Associated Projects in Fundamental Education, and provided information and expertise.


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