45th anniversary of National Film Library

Mexico's Cineteca Nacional has become one of the most important venues for the Mexican film industry

Mexico's National Film Library celebrates its 45th anniversary
With 10 screening rooms, a free-access forum, a Gallery, and a Digital Video Library, the Xoco venue now has more than 17 thousand film copies - Photo: Patricia Juárez/EL UNIVERSAL
English 17/01/2019 14:05 Notimex Mexico City Actualizada 15:06
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Celebrating 45 years since its foundation, Mexico’s Cineteca Nacional (National Film Library) has become one of the most important spaces for the Mexican film industry, film lovers, and the international film community.

With 10 screening rooms, a free-access forum, a Gallery, and a Digital Video Library, the Xoco venue now has more than 17 thousand film copies.

The Film Library was born as a state-owned film archive in charge of preserving the country’s film heritage as part of a plan to restructure the industry in 1970. It opened its doors on January 17, 1974.

Originally located in Mexico City’s Churubusco Studios, the venue started one of its most important activities to date: The International Film Exhibition, which was founded in 1971. In 1980, the Film Library created an International Forum, an additional series of screenings meant to promote new and avant-garde filmmakers.

According to official data, there was a fire on March 24, 1982 that led to the loss of 6,506 films, 9,275 books and magazines, and around 2,300 original scripts. Due to the irreparable damage of cinema halls and the theater vault, the building had to be abandoned.

The new facility was inaugurated on January 27, 1984, located in the former Compositores Plaza, though at that time, it only had four cinema halls, a documentation department, and a library.

In 2011, the National Council for Culture and the Arts (CONACULTA) modernized and extended the National Film Library, adding four new cinema halls with a seating capacity of 180 people, a free-access forum, and the remodeling of the old cinema halls.

A 700-square-meter vault was also built with capacity to store 50 thousand films and a digital restoration laboratory for the development of a program to rescue old films.

As of 2014, the Academic Extension Program was created to enrich cinema culture in Mexico and contribute to educating audiences through seminars, courses, master classes, and specialized workshops.

At present, the National Film Library has a film collection of more than 17,750 35mm and 16mm films, positive and negative. Furthermore, the Cineteca Nacional stores numerous photographs, photomontages, and billboards. The Carlos Monsiváis Digital Video Library also has a long list of films available for all audiences.

The venue also has a Documentation Center and a Gallery where original works and memorabilia of some of the most important filmmakers in history, such as Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock, and Walt Disney are exhibited.
 

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