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filmarchives online provides easy and free access to catalogue information of film archives from all over Europe. Via the multi-lingual web portal film works can be searched for by content, filmographic data and physical characteristics. Search results provide information about existence and location of the materials as well as contact details to facilitate the access. The focus of the database is on non-fiction material; i.e. documentary and educational films, newsreels, travelogue, advertising, scientific, industrial, experimental, sports films, as well as animation films. filmarchives online is the result of the MIDAS project (Moving Image Database for Access and Re-use of European Film Collections). MIDAS had been initiated as a pilot project in the MEDIA Plus programme of the European Commission. It ran from January 2006 until January 2009 and was carried out by 18 institutions and archives under the lead of the Deutsches Filminstitut – DIF.
Highlights from the Archives
Victor Vicas (1918-1985) is a director whose work has so far been widely neglected. However, Vicas' achievements as director, producer, camera operator, editor and actor from 1938 until his death in 1985 are a remarkable testimonial of the development of film in the Cold War era.
Between 1945 and 1953 Vicas was involved in the production of more than 40 short documentaries and features, working in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Yugoslavia, Turkey, Israel, the US and Canada, among other countries. Mostly, these films were commissioned as part of the Marshall Plan (e.g. "Working together", 1961; "Jour de peine", 1952) and were supposed to promote the concept of democracy in post-war Europe. Further films were commissioned by the United Nations and other international institutions (e.g. "The Children´s Republic", 1947; "Bread and Wine", 1947; "Italy Rebuilds", 1947). In Israel, where Vicas was considering long-term settlement, he went on to produce six films (e.g. "48 Hours A Day", 1949; "Day of Independence", 1951).
"Weg ohne Umkehr" was the first feature film directed by Vicas in the FRG in 1953. He continued to shoot full-length feature films in the UK, France (e.g. "Je Reviendrai à Kandara", 1957) and Hollywood (“The Wayward Bus", 1957). By the mid-sixties Vicas started to work for television, producing documentaries and film serials in France and the US ("Les Brigades du Tigre", 1974-78).
Recurring themes in his films are the East/West conflict, political violence and in particular the development of Israel, which Vicas - who left Germany in 1933 as a "stateless" Jew and then fought against the Germans both in the French and US army - felt personally affiliated with. The Deutsche Filminstitut - DIF e. V., holding the rights to parts of the Victor Vicas estate, courtesy of his widow Li Erben, has added entries for 18 films by the director to the databases of filmarchives online:
Please note: The participating institutions contribute, enrich and supplement information from their local archive databases to filmarchives online independently and on their own responsibility.