History of the Foundation
The idea about establishing a state storage of USSR movies emerged in the mid-30s. In the past small film libraries existed at all the republican film studios, numerous rental offices and private individuals’, but none of them had necessary technical requirements of specialized facilities. This problem could be solved only by a centralized state film archive.
In accordance with the Decree of USSR Council of People’s Commissars dated 02.02.1937, Politburo of the CPSU (B) protocol of 17.02.1937 #45 “About State Film Storage”, the All-Union Film Archive was founded, which is housed in the village of Beliye Stolby in Moscow Oblast. Film footage of various degrees of preservation and completeness were delivered there, collected from the owners of small film archives of the Soviet Union.
It took years to sort out, put in order, organize, and if possible, recover all of this unique material that could have disappeared without a trace.
In 1941, upon the beginning of Great Patriotic War, the All-Union Film Storage was evacuated to Volga and the Urals. Only in 1944 film footage started to return to the White Pillars.
After the war, the storage has gained a lot of trophy film industry products, which formed the basis of the foreign film archive. Subsequently, the filmmakers all over the world will be grateful for Gosfilmofond for the salvation of film classics and unique filmed historical materials from destruction and oblivion.
In order to improve storage conditions, its scientific processing and more efficient use, according to the Council of Ministers of USSR order “On creation of the All-Union State Film Storage”# 3698-1510s dated 04.10.1948, using the All-Union Storage base, the National Film Foundation of the USSR was created. This date is considered as the birthday of Gosfilmofond, it is always a holiday for Gosfilmofond staff.
In 1957, Gosfilmofond of USSR became a member of the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) and started its international activities. As a result of the inter-archive exchange, the film materials collection has expanded with the inflow of films and tapes that were previously considered irretrievably lost. In 1964 and 1973, 20th and 19th FIAF Congresses were held in Moscow with the active participation of Gosfilmofond.
In 1966, at the initiative of Gosfilmofond Directorate, and in accordance with the Chairman of the State Committee of Council of Ministers order for cinematography # 428 dated 12.11.1965, Gosfilmofond’s own movie theatre Illusion was established for wider use of the Gosfilmofond rich film collection Gosfilmofond and to promote the best works of Soviet and foreign cinematography.
In 1992, Gosfilmofond of USSR was renamed into the Gosfilmofond of Russia.
In accordance with the President of the Russian Federation Decree # 1847 dated 06.11.1993, “On the inclusion of the individual objects in the National List of the Most Valuable Objects of Cultural Heritage of the Russian Federation” , Gosfilmofond was classified as particularly valuable object of cultural heritage of Russsia.
In 1998, Gosfilmofond of Russia becomes a member of Association of European Cinémathèques (ACE), which operates under the auspices of the Council of Europe.
In the same year Gosfilmofond of Russia was included in the Guinness Book of Records as one of the three largest film archives in the world.
Since 1997, Gosfilmofond of Russia hosts Beliye Stolby-a unique festival of archival movies, aiming to revive the interest to cinematography as a great art. According to a survey of “Kinoprocess” magazine, Beliye Stolby takes first place in the festivals ranking of 2012. “(http://www.proficinema.ru)
Today Gosfilmofond of Russia is not just a huge film storage and unique multipurpose facility, which occupies an area of 113.7 hectares and which plays an important role in the development and promotion of Russian cinematography.
Successful work of Gosfilmofond ia appreciated by the national government. In 2006, three employees were awarded the National Prize of Russian Federation in the field of literature and art “For outstanding contribution to the preservation and development of the domestic and world cinema, for the restoration and promotion of the best examples of Russian and world cinematography.” Number of employees were awarded with orders and medals of the Russian Federation.
Gosfilmofond operates in accordance with the Federal Law # 77-FZ “On Obligatory Copy of Documents” dated 29.12.1994 and the charter approved by the Government of the Russian Federation # 150 dated 22.02.2012.