Home Crowdsourcing Project Will Help Identify and Recover Lost Films

Crowdsourcing Project Will Help Identify and Recover Lost Films

Do you know this man? The folks at Lost Films hope that you do and that you can identify the name of the film from which the still was taken. Archivists know it’s a German film, and they believe it was made in the 1930s. And they’re asking for anyone with more information to help.

It’s estimated that between 80 to 90% of all silent films, as well as a significant number of sound films, have been lost. Films from the early years of movies weren’t seen as culturally important, and there were minimal preservation efforts. Censorship efforts led to the destruction of many. And then, with the conversion to sound, many silent films were seen as outmoded and the reels were trashed.

But this new project seeks to help identify and recover some of these films by using an online, crowdsourced platform where users can upload, tag, and comment on old stills and videos. The aptly named Lost Films contains a list of more than 3500 films it believes have been lost, and it’s asking users to help provide more information.

The project is funded by the German Federal Cultural Association and is a collaborative effort by film societies in several countries, including Germany, France, Poland, and New Zealand.

Anyone can join the site and can help identify the films they have in the archive or can upload clips and images from other “mystery” films as well.

Already 56 films have been found and 72 others have been identified.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.