The Royal Belgian Film Archive collects and preserves a unique collection of films and has one of the richest and most diverse film collections in Europe (including countless non-fiction films and newsreels), which combined form a real visual memory of our history. Despite the focus within CINEMATEK on the Belgian film heritage, the archive has a large collection of international masterpieces from film history. CINEMATEK's collections are so extensive and important that it is considered one of the three most important film archives in the world. The archive
documents and researches the collections and shares them throughout the year through its programs, exhibitions, lectures, educational activities, publications & various digital platforms.
Our Belgian Film Collections
CINEMATEK has a major focus on the national film production and has a successful program in which it preserves, digitizes and restores with the greatest care important films from our own cinematographic history and from some of the greatest filmmakers in film history (such as Chantal Akerman, Alfred Machin and Henri Storck). In addition to these cinematographic films and documentaries, our Belgian collections also contain a large number of historical images showing major and minor events from the history of our country.
The Chantal Akerman Archive
On top of all her films, CINEMATEK also preserves and manages the archives of Chantal Akerman. These are currently being catalogued, inventoried and digitised with the aim of preserving and protecting the work of Chantal Akerman as a whole. They bring together her scripts, letters of intent, research, on-set photographs, press articles, files, interviews, subtitles and general production documents. Projects she has worked on and her personal archives have also been added to these extensive collections.
Each of these valuable elements plays a role in the desires and efforts of CINEMATEK and the Chantal Akerman Foundation to gain a deep scientific understanding of her work and to provide answers to the many questions and demands of researchers seeking to study her work, film curators who want to present it, or artists and filmmakers who are stimulated by it. These archives can be consulted in part in the CINEMATEK Library. You can request to view and study her films here and apply here for all other collections of the Chantal Akerman archive. CINEMATEK and the Foundation will also happily reply and assist you via email. You can find their contact details on their website.
Charles Dekeukeleire collections
Dekeukeleire (1905-1971) was a Belgian filmmaker who is regarded as one of the pioneers of Belgian cinema. His films are wonderful examples of avant-garde cinema and retain their cinematographic value to this day. In addition to his films, CINEMATEK also conserves his other collections, including photographs and personal documents.
Henri Storck Collections
Henri Storck (Ostend 1907 - Brussels 1999) lived through the whole history of cinema, passing from silent to sound, and from experimental to commercial films. He is recognised as a pioneer of Belgian cinema and a key figure in documentary. An eyewitness of his times, he made socially engaged films, but also poetic and experimental short films, films on art and a fiction feature.
Alfred Machin Collections
Alfred Machin was a French filmmaker from the early days of the film. Not only was he extremely prolific, but he also had a progressive vision of cinema. Because he took over the Pathé film studio in Brussels in 1908 and shot several influential films there, he is also regarded as the father of Belgian cinema.
CINEMATEK conserves and manages the film collections of government services such as the army, the NMBS and Sabena. These collections are very varied and have great historical value. They were produced for training courses, advertisements, interviews and are often the last witnesses to important aspects of Belgian history.
Images from the War
The CINEMATEK collections contain important moving images from various conflicts in which Belgium was involved, such as the two World Wars. The images from the First World War in particular are a treasure trove of information about life at the front and in the trenches.