A Frame By Frame Chronicle of a Unique Collection: Animation at the Cinémathèque Québécoise
An exchange with Eastern Europe was particularly fruitful. We now have an inventory of several hundred films from the best Polish, Bulgarian, Yugoslavian and Czechoslovakian productions. Furthermore, this figure does not include episodes of television series which were also archived with us by the countries that produced them. We must also stress the generosity of Russia's Gosfilmofond in this respect. We received from them no less than seven animated features, as well as numerous short films both old and new.
In 1982 the Cinémathèque presented the exhibition, "The Art of Animated Cinema" at the Museum of Fine Arts of Montreal. On this occasion the National Film Board deposited the greater part of its animated productions with the Cinémathèque, completing the collection that had accumulated over the years. Furthermore, the film screenings that accompanied the exhibition at the museum allowed us to buy about 70 film prints which brought the collection more up to date with contemporary titles. In effect, the collection was enriched by adding computer generated films, advertising spots, and experimental films by younger Canadians, Americans and Europeans.
Some distributors, both national and foreign, ceded to us their prints when the rights expired, contributing in this fashion to diversify and add a greater range to our collection. In this manner, we obtained a sizable number of films from Hungary, Switzerland, France and Italy.
The retrospectives and special programs prepared by the Cinémathèque for various festivals constituted another source of acquisitions. The research implicit to this work led to the discovery of prints formerly unknown, which now occupy a place of honor among our most prized titles.
In the mid-1980s an agreement with Radio-Canada resulted in the deposit of animated films made by their French section since 1968, along with the relevant documentation, including negative and positive prints, storyboards, cels, cut-outs, soundtracks, and key drawings. This represented a happy addition to the national heritage already entrusted to our care.