>> View FCI collections on EFG The Cineteca Italiana was officially founded in Milan in 1947. Its first nucleus was a small stock of cinema masterpieces rescued from destruction in the Thirties and adventurously preserved until after World War II by a group of young cinéphiles and intellectuals among whom there were the future directors Luigi Comencini and Alberto Lattuada.
Moving its first steps as a private Association, it passed through many vicissitudes (its activity had to stop in the period 1939-45) before obtaining the status of ‘foundation’ in 1996, by Regional decree. The Cineteca was the first Italian archive to be accepted in the international federation of film archives (FIAF) in 1948. Since then, it has been carrying out an unrelented activity in favour of the preservation and exploitation of the film heritage, and of the dissemination of the film culture both in Italy and abroad. It is supported by the Ministry of Culture through yearly subsidies and, to a smaller extent, by the regional, provincial and municipal authorities.
The Fondazione Cineteca Italiana presently owns a stock of over 23,000 films from all over the world, from the origins until nowadays. A large section (roughly 60%) consists of nitrate cellulose films of such historical relevance that they were defined by an expert committee set up by FIAF as "one of the largest stock of European silent films".
The non-film collections consist of around 100,000 photos, 50,000 posters of the silent and sound cinema among which some thousands posters of milanese movie theaters dating back to the beginning of the 20th century; a collection of books (around 7,000) and magazines (yet to be catalogued, among which there are some rare specimens of the Twenties and Thirties); pre-cinema apparatuses, optical devices, original Lumière cameras, projectors, pictures, memorabilia etc., collected as far back as in the Fifties. Part of these collections, which have been on display at a Film Museum open to the public 1985 through 2009, will be exhibited in a renewed Interactive Film Museum due to open in 2011 in the new premises (since 2010) of the Cineteca headquarters at the former Manifattura Tabacchi of viale Fulvio Testi.
The Cineteca’s main activities can be summarized as follows: film collection, preservation and restoration; educational activities (projections for schools, lectures, guided tours at the MIC – Interactive Film Museum); editorial activities (as the "Quaderni Fondazione Cineteca Italiana" series, with 15 volumes published since 1996 and dvd collection "Treasures of MIC"); exchange and loan of film to film schools, festivals, cultural institutions all over the world; film programming, retrospectives and festivals at its own 3 film theatres. After being housed for many years in different Milan cinemas, the Cineteca screening activities are taking place, since May 1999, at a multifunctional provincial area named Spazio Oberdan, where film programs are carried out 5 days a week.
The Cineteca has been putting of late a special care in collecting and restoring the Italian animated heritage (short and long features films, advertising, TV spots etc.), as many authors are of Milanese origin. Prominent works of pioneers such as the brothers Pagot, or a worldwide known director such as Bruno Bozzetto, were donated to the Cineteca.