UNESCO and EMPC celebrate Egypt’s achievements in preserving audiovisual heritage

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A hybrid event celebrating Egypt’s achievements in the preservation of audiovisual heritage was held on Tuesday at the premises of EMPC, Cairo.

The hybrid event, titled: “Celebrating World Audiovisual Heritage Achievements and Promoting International Cooperation”, was organized by the Egyptian Media Production City (EMPC) and UNESCO.

The event highlighted the UNESCO Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions as well as the Recommendation concerning the preservation of and access to documentary heritage, including in digital form, according to a statement released by UNESCO.

The day aimed to shed light on the achievements and experiences of the Egyptian Film Restoration Center, a presidential initiative hosted at the EMPC, in the preservation of approximately 3000 audio-visual documents in high-quality digital films reaching a resolution of 4k and 6k, which makes it suitable for all types of projection via electronic platforms, televisions and cinemas; preserving the right of access for present and future generations to review and reflect on their history, UNESCO said.

The celebration highlighted the influential role of Egyptian audiovisual heritage and the potential opportunities for UNESCO and other national, regional and global organizations to safeguard documentary heritage, especially audiovisual heritage in Egypt and the Arab region.

In addition, it brought together institutions and experts across Africa, the Arab world, Asia-Pacific as well as Latin America and the Caribbean, with the aim of improving awareness, knowledge sharing and collaboration on documentary heritage.

The celebration activities also provided a detailed presentation of the establishment of the Egyptian Film Restoration Center, its achievements and future plans, as well as raising awareness of practical approaches to national implementation of international standards advocated by UNESCO’s Memory of the World Program and UNESCO’s cultural conventions.

Addressing the event, Regional Director and UNESCO Representative Dr. Abdulaziz Almuzaini spoke about Egypt’s active participation in improving the Arab and global audiovisual industry.

Other speakers at the event included EMPC President- Dr. Abdel-Fattah El-Gebaly, Director, Department of Institutional Repositories and Integrated Library Systems, Information and Communication Technology Sector, Bibliotheca Alexandrina- Dr. Ahmed Samir, Deputy Secretary General, UNESCO National Commission for Egypt- Mr. El Sayed El Abassy, ​​and Dr. Hany Aboul Hassan, Advisor to the President National Experts: Chief Executive Officer, Gemini Africa – Mr. Adly Thoma, Head of Libraries Sector, Bibliotheca Alexandrina & Member of UNESCO IAC- Dina Youssef, International Experts: Head of Documentary Heritage Unit, UNESCO- Dr Fackson Banda, Prof. Fernando Osorio Alarcón, School of Conservation and Curator of the National Cineteca, President of the Memory of the World Regional Committee for Africa- Mr. Papa Momar Diop and Former Secretary General, MOWPAC: Dr. Ray Edmondson as well as Dr. Akatsuki Takahashi, Cultural Advisor of UNESCO and Dr Paul Hector, UNESCO Advisor for Communication and Information.

It should be mentioned that the participants of the event also watched a number of documentaries on the history and heritage of the Egyptian and Arab film industry.

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