MEHR News Agency: FIFF36 to launch Cicinema, new digital encyclopedia on Iranian Cinema. “A new digital encyclopedia on Iranian Cinema called ‘Cicinema’ will be launched concurrent with the start of the 36th edition of Fajr International Film Festival (FIFF36) in April. The announcement was made by the creator of the website Iraj Taghipour… ‘We collected and archived data on 4,000 feature films which is roughly the total number of films produced in Iran thus far. We also collected and archived information on 6,500 short films. The website now has a comprehensive database on about 10,500 Iranian movies in total.'”
Scroll: With rare photos and letters, a web archive is piecing together the life of film historian BD Garga. “Bhagwan Das Garga’s contributions as a documentary filmmaker and unparalleled chronicler of Indian cinema are widely known. But who was Bhagwan Das Garga, the person? For the past two years, the Delhi film collective Lightcube has been working hard to produce an answer. A team of five people, along with BD Garga’s wife Donnabelle, is developing an online archive that will provide a peek into lesser-known aspects of the film historian’s life and adventures.”
Times of Israel: Now online: Never-before seen footage of 1900s Jewish Britain. “The images tumble from the screen, in glorious Technicolor or flickering black-and-white. The quality is highly variable and so is the subject matter, ranging from the utterly banal to the high-flown. And yet, there is a connecting thread — the celebration of ‘Jewish Britain on Film,’ a collection which has just been released by the British Film Archive. And, curator Simon McCallum explains, this is part of a much bigger project– ‘Britain on Film’ — where researchers are attempting to digitize more than 10,000 titles.”
Library of Congress: 2017 National Film Registry Is More Than a ‘Field of Dreams’. “Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden today announced the 2017 selections to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. Selected for their cultural, historic and/or aesthetic importance, these 25 motion pictures range from an early film of the New York subway in 1905 and the musical biopic “La Bamba” to the holiday action thriller “Die Hard” and “The Goonies,” the adventure tale of a band of misfits.”
Library of Congress: Select National Film Registry Titles Now Available Free Online . “The Library of Congress is offering film lovers a special gift during the holiday season. Sixty-four motion pictures, named to the Library’s National Film Registry, are now available online on the Library’s website. The collection, ‘Selections from the National Film Registry,’ is also available to the public on YouTube. These films are among hundreds of titles that have been tapped for preservation because of their cultural, historical and aesthetic significance. “
New to me: the Primate Films Database. From the homepage: “The Primate Films Database includes information about films featuring wild primates produced since the beginning of the twentieth century. The database contains entries for films (including feature films), TV specials, TV series, and single episodes of series. Currently the Primate Films Database focuses on films in which the main focus is on primates in wild settings, but it may be expanded in the future to include more films focusing on captive primates. The database includes general information about each film such as runtime, the featured species, and the narrator or host. A brief review of each film is also provided which focuses on the film’s usefulness in teaching and educational settings.” The database is available in its entirety as an 82-page PDF.
University of Washington-Seattle: Hooray for Hollywood? New tool reveals gender bias in movie scripts. “If, as Oscar Wilde once said, “Life imitates art far more than art imitates life,” then the art of film has a lot to answer for when it comes to the perpetuation of gender stereotypes. Thanks to researchers in the Allen School’s Natural Language Processing research group, we now have a way to measure the sometimes subtle biases in how men and women are portrayed on the big screen — and increase our understanding of how language shapes our perception of gender roles…. [Yejin] Choi and her colleagues created an online database that enables researchers and members of the public to explore their findings for hundreds of popular films.”