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Title: The sustainability of film heritage : cultural policy, digitalisation and value
Author: Antoniazzi, Luca
ISNI:       0000 0004 6350 0459
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2017
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Digital preservation is posing major challenges to audiovisual institutions. However, debates surrounding infrastructural sustainability and stewardship in relation to film heritage (FH) are still underdeveloped. In light of this, the thesis examines changes in external relationships and the internal processes of film heritage institutions (FHIs). The methods used are document analysis and elite interviews. The former allows investigation of the broad institutional climate in which FHIs operate. The latter allows analysis of the insights and values of established professionals who are key figures in policy formation. The findings of the thesis are structured in three blocks. Firstly, the institutional context. FHIs have been influenced by neoliberal cultural policies, in three main ways: (1) they are de facto asked to prioritise digital access over other activities; (2) they have been pushed towards collaborative provision to pursue economies of scale; (3) they have been pushed towards a more frequent use of public/private partnerships. Meanwhile, the relationships with other important institutional players (universities and the film industry), seem to remain substantially intact. Secondly, organisation. The rapid increase in preservation costs is not being met by public subsidy or other forms of income. Indeed, new economic resources are provided mainly to support digital access so that preservation solutions are, in most cases, temporary and fragmented initiatives. As far as the analogue collections are concerned, the readjustment of some archival practices does not correspond to substantial changes in archival principles. Thirdly, dissemination. Due to the configuration of the institutional context, online access, for the time being, is only offering limited opportunities. More opportunities, in the long run, might be offered by theatrical presentations due to lowering distribution costs. The thesis offers three main proposals for action in relation to each of the previous blocks: (1) systematic lobbying and development of stronger relationships with academia to gain legitimacy and to encourage regulations for the IT sector; (2) setting up publicly-owned digital preservation infrastructures and, when possible, safeguarding analogue processing capacity to avoid mass digitisation; (3) elaboration of a richer articulation of the cultural and social value of film heritage.
Supervisor: Popple, Simon ; Hesmondhalgh, David Sponsor: School of Media and Communication, University of Leeds
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available