The Israel Film Archive recently launched a website that researchers, history buffs and movie lovers can enjoy a lot of films and clips. The site is available in Hebrew and English, and is the tipping point of a long and arduous work that spanned over seven years for IFA’s films to be set in digital format. Free content is readily available, and there are videos on demand that can be viewed after a onetime payment.
The late Lia van Leer, Jerusalem Cinematheque founder, created the IFA, and originally housed her own collection of films. It now boasts of a lineup of 30,000 clips, over two million meters of film and 4,500 hours of movies filmed in Israel.
Digitizing the IFA collection was a monumental task, as it cost about $10 million and has a staggering volume of over 6 petabytes (that amounts to 6 million gigabytes). Meir Russo, manager of the IFA, made an advanced film production laboratory, and thus saved a lot of hours of nearly disintegrating film.
The website has the Historical and Artistic view, and boasts of videos from every era. The collection has films from the Israeli Film Service Collection, Maccabi Movement Archive, Yad Tabenkin Archive and the Yad Vashem Museum. It also includes ones from private people.
The collection includes a lot of films in various categories, and even includes a clip where David Ben-Gurion, a former Israeli Prime Minister, was addressing a group of teens way back in 1954. There was also a video about a soccer match between the Hapoel and Vienna team in 1937.
For the artistic view, it has a collection of feature films and documentaries throughout Israel’s history. It includes films such as To take a wife, Song of the siren, Hole in the moon and Saint Clara.
The Jaglom Family Foundation supported the project, along with the Beracha Foundation, Kennedy Leigh Charitable Trust, Mifal Hapayis National Lottery, Jerusalem Development Authority, Heritage Department of the Jerusalem Affairs Ministry, Culture Ministry and Tziyunei Derech Project.