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LICHTSPIEL / Kinemathek Bern

The Lichtspiel / Kinemathek Bern will make available a number of Swiss productions from its collections via filmarchives online, including documentaries, feature films and animations as well as commercials.

The collections are very heterogeneous, providing an overview on film production in Switzerland covering the range from amateur productions to award-winning documentaries. Commercials, documentaries and educational films, which have since the early days of film been distributed to Swiss educational facilities and even used for missionary purposes, capture the zeitgeist of past eras. Films produced in Art Academy courses illustrate the development of different Swiss filmmakers. Some parts of these collections are briefly described in the following:

The Swiss Association of Dairy Manufacturers (SMP) has produced and commissioned commercials and documentaries since the 1940s.

Wander AG company (Ovomaltine) have since 1930 not only produced and distributed promotional films for their own products, they also co-financed countless documentaries with a particular focus on public health and sports.

The Swiss Consortium for Educational Films (SAFU) and the Bern Film Institute (formerly Schweizer Schul- und Volkskino, SSVK) represent two national media organisations responsible for the production and distribution of educational films since the 1920s.

The "swiss.movie" society (formerly Bund Schweizer Filmamateure) has archived countless films by its members since the society's establishment.

Renowned Bern photographer Kurt Blum has been producing a number of short documentaries between 1956 and 1971 for clients such as Swiss Post (PTT), Swissair, the Swiss national exhibition EXPO 64 and a number of large industrial companies. In 1967 Blum furthermore produced the popular and critically acclaimed feature film "Rabio – The Thoughts of a Convict".

Bern graphic designer Walter Emmisberger produced widely noticed animations for commercials and documentaries as well as free work.

Between 1982 and 1995 the Bern Academy of Visual Arts offered a 16mm film course. Countless short films were produced in the course, some of them by filmmakers still active today on the Bern film scene.

The collection of works produced in the animation course "Animation Films and their Possibilities" at the Zurich University of the Arts in 1972 provides an overview on contemporary animation techniques and styles.

Lichtspiel will integrate its entire collections successively into the filmarchives online database and make them available to the public.
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