>> View CN collection on EFG The Cineteca Nazionale (National Film Archive), part of Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, one of the most important film archives in Europe, was instituted by State law in 1949 in order to preserve and propagate Italy's cinematographic heritage. The original nucleus of the collection was put together with the establishment of the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in the 1930s, and it was used as a teaching aid. Luigi Chiarini, Umberto Barbaro and Francesco Pasinetti in particular were greatly interested in researching and acquiring films, many of them cinema classics by the likes of Chaplin, Vidor, Pabst, Clair, Dreyer and Lang. In 1943 the collection was requisitioned by the Germans and completely dispersed.
After the War, the work of reconstruction began. In 1949 the Film Collection became a member of FIAF (The International Federation of Film Archives), which had been set up just before the outbreak of hostilities. In the same year, Legislative decree no. 958 of December 29th provided for the institution of the "Cineteca Nazionale" founded on the basis of this archive, stipulating that a copy of every film produced or co-produced in Italy should be deposited in the collection. Over time the collection has continued to be enriched and enlarged with donations from private concerns and public bodies, through exchanges with other archives from all over the world, special acquisitions of film material, donations by third parties and agreements with private individuals. Since 2005, the National Film Archive has included the Archivio Nazionale del Cinema d'Impresa at Ivrea, set up in the same year and assigned the task of preserving and disseminating cinematographic material produced by Italian companies.
In addition to its work in conserving the country's precious heritage, the Cineteca Nazionale is also extremely active in promotional activities, making available a huge catalogue of films, 75% of which are Italian, for showings by cultural associations on a non-profit basis. Since 2003 the Cineteca Nazionale has been making use of the Trevi Cinema in Rome for showing films from its vast archive as well as staging festivals of films from other national and international film libraries.
The Cineteca Nazionale every year restores and returns to life both cinematic masterpieces and more minor works, reflecting the huge spectrum of the cinema tradition, which contains the work of both great writers and great craftsmen. The Cineteca Nazionale includes an archive of photos and posters relating to the cinema. The collection, with accompanying information, consists of more than 1 million photographs and about 50,000 items of publicity material including posters, "fotobusta" posters and programmes. The photo archive includes work by some of the greatest Italian cinema photographers, as well as directors and producers such as Giovanni Battista Poletto, Osvaldo Civirani, Roberto Rossellini and Alfredo Bini.