Newsreels and film

Until the advent of television, newsreels were the only source of images for the general public. Ina has a collection of some 1,800 hours of newsreels that come from several archives representing over 41,000 subjects covered between 1940 and 1969. Ina has completed this collection with films and newsreels dating back to 1905.

Newsreels

  • Filmed news in France were originally made up of Actualités Mondiales (1940-1942), world news controlled by the German occupying forces, and in large part a French version of the UFA Deutsche-Wochenschau news.
  • France Actualités took over between 1942 and 1944 offering a wider range of topics in addition to news of the war (always presented from the German and Vichy government viewpoints).
  • As of the summer of 1944, France Libre Actualités put out a national weekly programme, the first of which, Journal de la résistance, focused on the fighting for the Libération of Paris.
  • From January 1945 until 1969, Actualités Françaises continued to offer a weekly summary of the current news in cinemas throughout France and North Africa, at a time when television had not yet become a mass media.

The Free France viewpoint

To complete these historical archives acquired by ORTF in 1969, Ina also manages the collections of the Office français d’informations cinématographiques (OFIC), a structure founded in 1943 by the French committee for national liberation, which puts the viewpoint of Free France. It comprises some 160 reports from the French magazine Ici la France, on the Free French army (FFL) and footage shot by the Allies in London, Africa, the Middle East and Corsica between 1940 and 1944. 

In 1944, a group of Resistance film directors also set up the General Cooperative of French cinema (CGCF). Their number includes René Clément, Louis Dacquin, Jean-Paul Le Chanois, Roger Verdier and Édouard Molinaro. Ina owns 18 films (documentaries or fiction), from the Cooperative, which was active from 1944 to 1963. The best known of these films, La Bataille du rail, (The Battle for the Railway), by René Clément won a prize at the first Cannes Film Festival after the war in 1946.

Footage dating from 1905

In addition to these archives marked by the history of the Second World War, Ina preserves numerous films from a variety of sources, the earliest of which date from 1905. The Fonds Leclerc (1914-1934) was acquired by the Actualités françaises in 1964. It is comprised of 114 silent films of an average length of one and a half minutes, made by Joseph Leclerc, an independent director, between 1914 and 1934.

The Fonds “AMB”, made by another independent director (M. Ambiehl comprises 405 mainly silent news items, filmed between 1905 and 1039. Ina also has a number of documents filmed in the Near East in the 1920s, in North Africa in 1945 and during the 1950s, and some industrial films, which date from the 1960s. 

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