The European Film Gateway (EFG) is now publicly available online in beta release. It offers free access to about 400,000 digital videos, photos, film posters and text materials. By its completion the archive will contain 600,000 items from 16 film archives from 15 European countries.
Included will be material from film archives that have been hidden in obscurity. These include unique magic lantern slide collections from France, erotic films made in Austria in the early 20th century, advertising films from Norway, newsreels from Lithuania and a comprehensive film poster collection from Denmark. In addition, Cinecittá Luce from Rome has included a famous Italian newsreel collection along with a collection of early films by great masters like Rossellini, Antonioni, Comencini, and other famous names of Italian filmmaking. An extensive collection of set photos to films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder contributed by the Deutsches Filminstitut will also be available for the first time online from August on.
The EFG was developed by the Deutsches Filminstitut together with the European Association of Cinémathèques (ACE – Association des Européennes Cinémathèques) and its members. It started in September 2008 and is expected to be complete by September 2011.