Meet the winners
Archive Achievement Awards 2023
At the FIAT/IFTA World Conference 2023 held in Locarno, the Archive Achievement Awards were attributed to four interesting projects and outstanding archival initiatives that have significantly improved how the archives are preserved, managed and used.
The FIAT/IFTA Archive Achievement Awards yearly reward initiatives bring the professional preservation and management of audiovisual archives higher. The Archive Achievement Awards are developed by FIAT/IFTA, the International Federation of Television Archives. Members of FIAT/IFTA can nominate their own organisation, or they can nominate a person or organisation with whom they have collaborated to bring the project to a successful end.
FIAT/IFTA is humbled to award Daniel Teruggi the 2023 Lifetime Honorary Award.
Since 2014 FIAT/IFTA has also given a special Lifetime Honorary Award to a person with special merits for FIAT/IFTA and for the field of audiovisual archiving as a whole. This year the jury honoured someone…
Today, the Executive Council of the International Federation of Television Archives proudly honours an extraordinary individual whose remarkable life journey is as international as it is inspiring.
The person we celebrate exemplifies the rich tapestry of cultures within our global community. Initially, he began his studies in his hometown. However, at the age of 25, partly due to the volatile political situation there, he made the bold decision to leave not only his homeland but also his continent. In his new host country, he completed his academic education and found lifelong employment with a single employer.
In his work, he soon proved to be a rare talent, excelling in not one but two professional domains. For the first two decades, his focus remained primarily on music, but starting in 2001, he ventured into the realm of audiovisual archiving, dedicating the last 16 years of his professional career to this field. Today, he is renowned not only as a distinguished composer and performer of contemporary electronic music but also as a highly knowledgeable archival scientist. His music resonates with the same spirit of innovation and creativity that he has brought to the world of archiving.
It is impossible to discuss our Awardee without acknowledging the monumental impact of the Presto Projects, a series of groundbreaking research initiatives supported by the European Union. Over more than a decade, these projects, involving numerous research institutions, archives, and hundreds of researchers, revolutionized our approach to audiovisual heritage. The advanced state of audiovisual preservation in Europe and beyond owes a debt of gratitude to these projects and, consequently, to one of their primary inspirers: our Awardee. His unwavering advocacy and tireless efforts led to the receipt of the prestigious Archival Technology Medal from the Society of Motion Pictures and Television Engineers in 2016.
However, his international outlook extends beyond his geographical journey; it is deeply ingrained in his scientific and artistic essence. Our Awardee is truly a global citizen in every sense. He continues to be invited around the world, whether for his music, his expertise in audiovisual archiving, or both. It will come as no surprise that when I contact him, our conversations invariably begin with the question: “Where are you currently residing?”
Although he may humorously claim to have invented the terms “charm” and “gastronomy,” his unwavering commitment to his profession underscores the seriousness of his dedication to preserving our shared cultural heritage. This dedication became evident when he assumed the role of General Secretary at FIAT/IFTA in 2015, with minimal preparation, and continued until after the 2017 World Conference. At one point, he even took on the role of Treasurer. To this day, he remains actively involved with FIAT/IFTA, overseeing our accounting.
In bestowing upon him the Lifetime Achievement Award, we celebrate an individual whose relentless pursuit of innovation and unwavering commitment have significantly enriched our field. As we honour his accomplishments today, we are reminded that his influence transcends borders, leaving an indelible mark on the global landscape of audiovisual preservation. Both literally and figuratively, he stands as a giant in our field.
Ladies and gentlemen, the FIAT/IFTA Lifetime Achievement Award 2023 goes to Daniel Teruggi.
Meet the winners!
FAIR Archive Opening: SRG Archives for academical use
by Theo Mäusli (SRG SSR), Cécile Vilas (Memoriav), Markus Zürcher (SAGW)
SRG archives count about 2 million hours of digitized or native digital content from radio and tv in four national languages that express nearly a hundred years of Swiss regional, national and international history and the public sphere. In collaboration with rights departments, they have defined waste categories of content which may be opened to the public – such as regional, national and information, debates and other and continues to clear rights, also by agreements with the national Right Collection Societies. Nevertheless, an important part, maybe 30 % of all content, will need detailed clearing or cannot be published online by copyright and data protection issues, sometimes also for ethical reasons. This content is highly appreciated by our traditional public in its regional context, but the apparently obvious academic use by Historians, Geographers, Cultural and Political Studies and even Digital Humanist has not really begun. SRG is interested in such use as a public value, but also hoping that it would create new media productions such as documentaries, websites, ….
Understand the User Needs?
To understand the reasons for that lack, SRG asked, in strong collaboration with the Swiss Academy for Human and Social Science, academic stakeholders about their needs and has learned:
Memoriav is the Swiss Network for audiovisual cultural heritage and is committed to the preservation and valorization of this cultural good. Memoriav was already building Memobase, a user interface including much available audiovisual cultural heritage in Switzerland (photo, cinema, private radio, private tv, science, private recordings, …) collected by more than a hundred cultural institutions of Switzerland. Therefore, SRG renounces building its own user interface but opens its Archives, mainly for academic use, via Memobase, corresponding in the best way to manage user needs and possible offers. Memoriav and SRG have long collaboration experience in the field of cultural heritage. In order to guarantee IT security and respect for rights and data protection, the following data flow has been realized:
In Memobase, users will find all the item descriptions of SRG archives in 4 national languages, together with documents from over a hundred institutions such as the Cinémathèque Suisse, the Swiss National Archives, Swiss Foto Archives, Social archives, Museums, private radios and television, private collections. For those documents with cleared rights (often geolimited on national territory), there is embedded access to the SRG Player to see or hear the documents directly online or, in some cases, even to download them.
State of the project (Mars 2023):
SRG’s innovative, brilliantly executed approach to making its public and private archive of over two million hours of radio and television accessible allowed them to extend their reach beyond regional context and engage more fully with the public and academic community. Adhering to FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) data, they unified the user experience in a single platform that respects language and provenance, with clear vision, purpose and presentation.
Faced with numerous challenges, from rights and privacy issues to multi-language needs and metadata integrations, they were able to launch an astounding collaborative knowledge-sharing platform with transparency and efficiency for optimal user engagement – making it a unique and unprecedented resource for the Swiss public.
Adapting AI tools for the RTVE Archive
by RTVE Archive
‘Adapting AI tools for the RTVE Archive’ is a project intended to provide AI-generated metadata for more than XX hours of content in the RTVE archive making the archive system independent from any specific provider. The project started in 2020 with clear-cut goals, and since then, it has evolved from a purely technical perspective to a more flexible approach, giving relevance to the human aspect.
RTVE is leading in the way it uses AI for its archive due to its groundbreaking integration of AI technology with a human perspective. Their user-centric approach, customization of algorithms, and emphasis on knowledge circulation exemplify their commitment to excellence. The project’s profound impact on the industry, driven by the integration of human expertise, shows that RTVE is constantly reimagining the future of archives.
AI + colour = new life to the RTVE Archive
by RTVE Archive
To use and test the possibilities of artificial intelligence by colouring black and white images from our archives to preserve them, to improve their quality, to see with our eyes “in colour” the world that seemed old to us because they were recordings made in black and white with low quality, to take advantage of these new images to propose new formats, narratives or to complement informative, entertaining, educational or cultural content because they are part of our historical and audiovisual legacy. This collaboration between Territorial Centres, the Documentary Fund and RTVE Innovation aimed to bring the past into the future using the most modern technologies, such as AI, and above all, to make it possible to do so in a fast, light and inexpensive way as possible.
RTVE, by leveraging its continued expertise in artificial intelligence tools, achieved great success with the colourization of its black and black imagery. Preserving better-quality digital archive images enabled new uses and narratives across RTVE platforms. These new formats created compelling stories to complement news, entertaining, educational and cultural content. The achievements of this RTVE project will not only be measured in terms of meeting internal goals for processes and costs but will also prove instrumental as a learning experience and stimulus for other broadcasters who want to explore AI in their archives.
RTÉ Audio Content Digitisation Project – Measuring the Invaluable: Strategies for Mass-digitisation and Migration of 20th Century Media Formats
by RTÉ Archives
The project involves the migration, preservation and of making digitally accessible the RTÉ radio production recordings and music collections, spanning over 80 years of 20th Century Broadcast history from the 1920s to the early 2000s. The recordings encompass the full range of broadcasting genres across current affairs, cultural events, news, sport, drama, educational and concerts. Recordings are in both the Irish and English Languages and are bound to the format of reel-to-reel quarter-inch audio tape and optical disk carriers.
The volume of material is significant in both scale and complexity. There are more than 200,000 objects in a variety of artificial, natural, and organic materials weighing 80 tons when piled up, and which can stretch over 40,000 km when unspooled, amounting to 270 terabytes of binary digits once digitised and showcases the achievement of moving such volumes into a new era of content consumption and memory storage solutions.
For this massive migration project, RTÉ relied strongly on collaboration, first by seeking guidance from international archive organizations and communities, then by getting many internal departments involved in the project, and finally by establishing a solid partnership with the service provider in charge of the migration.
The project makes good use of legacy ancillary data, with an ambition to generate even more through the implementation of transcription tools adapted to the detection of Irish dialects, enabling better discoverability of the content.
THE DIGITALISATION OF THE ARCHIVES OF TVE’S REGIONAL DELEGATIONS
by RTVE Archives
Although RTVE’s archives have been digitised as technological evolution has allowed it, an important part of the Documentary Funds of RTVE’s Regional Delegations, which are those that comprise its territorial structure, remain undigitised.
This project deals with the digitisation of all the contents in Betacam video format of fourteen Regional Delegations from 1988 to 2014, the year in which the Delegations began to work in a centralised digital newsroom with digital archives. The project consists of two parts:
It is essential to undertake this project:
One of the big challenges in TVE’s project is successfully implementing a common process into its 14 regional delegations to make sure that exchanges between each of them and the service provider in charge of migration operations run smoothly.
Particular effort was put into linking the newly generated video files with pre-existing metadata in TVE’s MAM system for immediate visibility of the content once the migration is done.
Quick and easy access by TVE’s production teams implies increased content value, even if the source format itself is not fully preserved.
HOW SEXISM SHAPED OUR TEENAGE YEARS
by RTVE Archives
“How Sexism Shaped Our Teenage Years” is an interactive project that portrays the symbolic violence towards women during those formative years in which human beings are shaping their personalities and are particularly vulnerable to this type of message. Symbolic violence is an invisible violence based on furthering stereotypes, ideas or values that perpetuate inequality between men and women.
When entering the project, users select their year of birth and travel back in time to when they were 13 to discover what kind of media and cultural messages they received back then. We go over 5 years of their lives -from the year they were 13 to when they were 17- reviewing television shows, films, news, songs and magazines. All these messages have a common denominator: sexism.
Once you have relived your teenage years, you also have the option to experience what it would be like being a teenager born in another decade. This way, you will get to know other realities and see how, regardless of the decade, things are not so different.
How Sexism Shaped Our Teenage Years is an impressive project harnessing a great breadth of archive materials and innovative technologies to meet a social purpose and need and can leave a strong legacy to change things for the better.
The jury appreciates that the project boldly addresses one of the key objectives and values of an archive: to look back at the past from a current perspective. It does so by addressing a challenging topic that is contemporarily still very vivid, creates space for reflection, and triggers a socially relevant discussion.
One of the biggest strengths of the project is that it is the user who plays an active role in the experience, and each personal history is put into a bigger, collective context, making the user more aware of the impact of sexism presented in the media over the decades.
The jury also recognises the great research and curatorial effort that has been put into selecting the right content and building narratives around it. It also praises the high level of self-reflection of the archive, deciding to tell stories, explain and educate using its own challenging or even harmful archival content instead of hiding it in the vaults.
by Robert Seatter & John Escolme, BBC
The BBC 100 anniversary – combined with the pandemic – hastened a swift digital transformation of the BBC History offers to an amplified and centralised BBC 100 branded site. This was launched on 1 Jan 20022 and augmented through the 12 months of centenary celebrations. All history and heritage aspects of the BBC story were focussed on this platform for the whole Corporation. A new collaboration with BBC News created a unique BBC timeline, enabling users to click on any year and find a moment of revelation – technological, cultural or content-led.
Three major digital collections were also created: 100 Objects/100 Faces/100 Voices, mining the range of BBC’s different archives and creating different entry points for audiences.
The site was dynamised by a specially commissioned animated front page (made for the BBC by Four Communications) and refreshed constantly throughout the year by a range of guest curators – from top talent (Lauren Laverne/Jarvis Cocker/Gregg Wallace) to museum curators and young reporters. Plus, audiences were asked to contribute their own memories of what the BBC meant to them over the century.
The site attracted 1.36 million page views.
BBC 100 is an extraordinary website to celebrate the centenary of the British Broadcasting Corporation.
Behind this fascinating platform stands vast archival work: Special collections comprising photos, props, documents or sheet music were digitised and thus made accessible for the first time ever. The web content is visually appealing, tailored for a young as well as for a mature audience, for casual interest but also for experts. A dynamic interactive timeline guides the user through one hundred years of the BBC. Special curated digital collections – “100 Objects”, “100 Faces”, and “100 Voices” – invite the viewers to dive into the colourful and diverse world of the BBC.
Throughout the anniversary year, the audience was actively invited to send in its own memories and personal stories to share with the public.
The jury appreciates that the well-curated project included the academic community as well. The BBC Oral History archive was accessed, digitised and instructively curated by media historians of Sussex University.
The most appealing visualisation of the fascinating content and the ease of navigating are highlighted by the jury members. The website BBC 100 gives a perfect example for other broadcast companies on how to celebrate their first one hundred years.
by Sound & Vision
Sound & Vision manages one of the largest digitised media archives in the world. Packed with (among others) radio, television, YouTube videos, objects, written press, podcasts and games, we preserve our daily growing media collection as cultural heritage for eternity. At the same time, we closely follow all movements of the global media landscape and shed light on current affairs from a media-historical perspective.
At Sound & Vision, we welcome these developments in our recently completely new, state-of-the-art Media Museum (reopened February 11th 2023). In the new Media Museum, visitors can experience how media have now become part of your everyday life and how this came about. This huge influence of media on our daily lives is presented in five interactive zones that focus on five universal human needs: Share, Inform, Sell, Tell and Play.
The museum visit is a personal one. During your visit, you are (literally) recognised as a media personality everywhere. In the personalised visitor experience, each visitor gets to see their own content, in line with how the media actually work in our daily lives. When you come in, you’re profiled, sharing information like your age, interests and media preferences. The longer you walk around, watch and play, the closer you get to your own unique ‘media personality’. The museum adapts its presentations to your individual characteristics as a first step towards an individually tailor-made experience.
The museum is highly interactive: you can be a reporter of the news, put yourself in the shoes of an influencer or create your own video game. The museum is packed with audiovisual fragments and media objects. The lively, interactive and entertaining exhibits give visitors insight into the workings of media and help create a more media-literate society.
The Media Museum is a brand new, unique initiative opening digital archives for visitors in a physical space. The museum uses the most advanced technology to create an immediate interaction between the curated content and the visitors in several exhibitions. It also implements innovative copyright solutions allowing to unlock, otherwise impossible to use, archival materials.
The jury appreciates the use of a personalised experience in the museum aimed to attract people of all ages from 8 years. Such an approach gives the museum a unique possibility of educating young people in history while at the same time offering a strong feeling of coherence with the content for the older audience.
It is a magnificent example of a national audiovisual museum with appeal and of huge value for recognising the country’s media history and applying it to address contemporary issues using contemporary tools and storytelling methods, boosting media literacy and critical thinking.
The Myth Machine
by Uri Rosenwaks, IPBC
Seventy-Five Years of Israeli history is portrayed through the myths that shaped it.
The founding legends, the tales we were raised upon, true or false, for better or worse.
A new documentary series that unfolds and dissects the national collective consciousness into its components and analyzes them. Myths from the past as well as of today still play a central role in our perception of reality; For some Israelis, they are the core of identification; for others, they embody turning a blind eye, humiliation and repression.
The series, with its unique visual language, creates a combination between archival materials and current testimonies of speakers who are not experts but people who took part in the events that shaped the country.
The four episodes of the series present the constant tension between ideology and reality. Through the personal stories of the heroines and heroes of the series, the constant clash between big ideas and the individual is crystallized on the screen.
Chapter 2 – “The Melting Pot”: The constant tension in Israel, being a Jewish and democratic state, is frequently at the centre of attention. These two words and the hyphen connecting them contain the biggest unsolved question between the various tribes and ethnic groups that make up our local mosaic. An equation that has been searching for a solution for more than seven decades
The Myth Machine by IPBC Kan is a four-episode series that portrays the last 75 years of Israeli history through the myths that shaped it. Founding legends and other stories have contributed to the national collective consciousness of the country, both in the past and present.
The series combines archival footage with current personal testimonies from everyday citizens who participated in the events that shaped the country. This combination of self-experienced Israeli history reflects the diversity of society. Additionally, the series offers valuable lessons and interpretations about the past of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.
The FIAT/IFTA Awards Jury was deeply impressed by the unique visual language of the documentary, the selection of witnesses who challenge their own memories and significant myths of Israel, and the innovative and symbolic setting. Using a wealth of archival footage to engage ordinary citizens in understanding their own past and national identity feels both brave and timely.
De jaren 80 voor tieners (The 80s for teens)
by Steven Van Herreweghe (VRT) & Tatjana Wallays (Panenka)
The 80s for Teens is an entertaining ten-part TV series by VRT that takes a dozen teenagers on a witty journey through each year of the 1980s. The show is visually supported by lots of archive footage and the best 80s music. Host and interviewer Steven Van Herreweghe, himself a child of the 80s, confronts today’s teenagers with archival footage, capturing their spontaneous reactions and telling them stories of those years.
The FIAT/IFTA Awards Jury praised the humorous and clever way the programme engages teenagers with the past. The show is perfectly targeted for both youth and adults, making it a wonderful piece of family entertainment full of nostalgia. The jury members particularly noted the evident archive research done beforehand, the level of audience appreciation for the show, and the fact that a second series has already been commissioned – demonstrating the success of this archival format. The 80s for Teens is an extraordinary example of how to bring the younger generation back to television.
by Beate Thalberg, ORF
Salzburg, Austria, 1948: A mysterious woman appears out of nowhere. She hands over a suitcase full of photos taken between 1916 and the 1970s to a private detective. Marlene Dietrich flirting in a Salzburg café, conductor Arturo Toscanini hurrying across a Salzburg square, unknown beauties in a photo studio. Your assignment: Find out everything you can about the photographer of these pictures, Carl Ellinger. The detective cannot refuse this boring job. She is far too beautiful for that.
Soon the detective is not only involved in love but in a criminal case: Carl Ellinger disappeared long before these photos were taken. Who then took these pictures? What does his client have to do with the American occupiers who are apparently protecting her? And what foreign power is constantly after him?
Dependent on each other, the couple, who did not want to be one, grope from one trap to the next. Everywhere there are traces that lead to nowhere. Did the one who is behind all these photos lay them? Or the one?! Someone who must have existed because these photos are published worldwide. It must be someone close to the founder of the Salzburg Festival, Max Reinhardt.
As the truth presents itself right before their eyes, the mysterious woman and the detective can no longer escape their own: Lies and repression, a game of real society that they have also played.
Double Exposure by Beate Thalberg is an exciting six-part archive detective series that combines documentary and film-noir elements to break open traditional genres. The crime story revolves around the Austrian photographer Carl Ellinger, who disappeared long before hundreds of thousands of photos in his name were taken. The pictures, taken between 1916 and the 1970s, depict life in Salzburg during those times, especially at the Salzburg Festivals, featuring celebrities such as Marlene Dietrich or Arturo Toscanini. The series has many layers, including old stills, moving archive material, footage from fiction films of the 30s and 40s, animated graphic novels, and newly filmed material cleverly intercut with the archive.
The FIAT/IFTA Awards Jury was fascinated by the surprising appearance that combines different genres and film techniques, the complexity of archive sources, the marvellous editing, and the exciting investigative story that encourages learning about the past. The result is a beautiful piece of audiovisual art.