News

EFM: Archive, the past is the future

"Award-winning producer, clearance specialist and visual researcher Elizabeth Klinck is sometimes described as the “fairy godmother” of archival research. Thanks to her work organising panels and workshops at festivals, many filmmakers have learned invaluable lessons about such matters as copyright clearance, errors and omissions insurance and, most importantly, how and where to find the visual materials they need."


Klinck will again be a prominent presence on March 2 during Archive Day at the EFM.  She will moderate the morning session entitled “The Latest Buzz in Archival Research” and will then be on hand for consultations. The Latest Buzz session is designed for participants to gain an inside view on how archival material is used in documentary filmmaking and what the work of an archival researcher looks like. What should filmmakers know if they want to use third-party material in their work and what is the latest buzz in archival storytelling?


Joining Klinck will be internationally acclaimed researchers Monika Preischl from Germany and Morgane Barrier from France who will present clips from their recent work and share with the audience how rich and vast the scope of archival material can be.


Klinck is also involved in a session titled “Unlocking the Mysteries of Archives” which will look at the “communication channels” between archivists and users, looking to create greater understanding on both sides.


The inaugural Archive Day was held at last year’s Berlinale. “Hitherto, archives had not really been represented at the Berlinale. It was very well received last year,” Klinck notes. She hopes the momentum will continue this year, even if the event is online.

As has been widely noted, archives have been doing bumper business during the pandemic. Facing travel restrictions and with their subjects in lockdown, many directors have been turning to archival-based work.


“It has been a very good time for archive-heavy productions because we always have worked in relative isolation and so we don’t need to worry about Covid-testing and health and safety issues,” she observes. “The archives to their credit started digitising their collections five and even 10 years ago. That meant we were able to change quite quickly last March…I’ve really been impressed by how normal it has felt and how supportive the archives have been to those of us coming to them looking for material.”


Another welcome trend she has noticed is the interest among younger viewers in archive-driven fare.

“A lot of people have turned to archives to get their films finished. There is also a nice confluence between the need to do this during the pandemic and the burgeoning OTTs,” she adds, citing new streaming giants like Paramount Plus and Disney +. “They’re all looking for documentaries and they’ve found a younger audience which is quite exciting. For a long time, documentaries were considered to be skewing older but what they’re finding is a lot of younger viewers are excited by archival docs.”


One of Klinck’s jobs during the early part of the pandemic was finishing off Werner Herzog’s latest documentary Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds, in which the visionary German auteur, working together with Clive Oppenheimer, explores the influence of meteors and comets on ancient civilisations. The doc was made through Richard Merman at Spring Films in the UK.

“We worked together on a film about volcanoes a few years ago (Into the Inferno, 2016) so this was a follow-up,” Klinck says of Herzog, adding that the German was “absolutely delightful” and “extremely grateful and gracious about everything.”


During the first part of the pandemic, the Canadian also worked on BBC Science/Netflix series The Surgeon’s Cut, about four visionary scientists from different parts of the world.

Over the years, Klinck has collaborated with many leading names in the doc world, among them figures like Alex Gibney and Jerry Rothwell. “But I also leave room in my schedule for some younger filmmakers. They often are excited about archives but a bit overwhelmed by it. I’ve done a lot of mentoring.”


Klinck began her career at the National Film Board of Canada. “I was very fortunate to have a marvellous mentor called Barbara Sears. We now have an award at the Canadian Screen Awards named after her because tragically she died quite young. She took me under her wing.”


This was in the 80s, just as the technology was beginning to change. Once archives became searchable online, Klinck, then a young mother, was able to work from home. “I loved it because it employed my research skills and it was so satisfying to be able to look at so much great visual material. It also involves good business acumen, negotiating good prices and arranging bulk deals.”

No two projects are the same. Some she will work on for a month and others for a year.


Alongside her own visual research work, Klinck also works as a teacher. She has unrivalled contacts in the archival world, and very strong links in the UK. She has worked several times with Met Films, sits on the International Executive Committee for FOCAL (Federation of Commercial Audiovisual Libraries International), based in London, and had a long-standing relationship with the Sheffield Doc Fest, where she presented archive-themed masterclasses at the Documentary Campus.


Yes, she has worked on dramatic features but her main focus is documentary. She hopes soon to be back on the road, attending film events rather than participating via Zoom.


“I’ve always enjoyed attending film festivals. I started with Hot Docs in its very early days. And some of the Canadian Festivals. For me, it was a way to increase the visibility of the world of archives because over the years, that has sometimes been overlooked,” she notes.


“It has been fun. I get to meet people I would only have emailed [otherwise] and so that is always a delight. And I’ve often walked away with a good contract because I’ve met a filmmaker and we have clicked. The networking and business opportunities are great but most important for me was to raise the profile of archives,” she concludes.

Elizabeth's Workshop on Right Clearances at IDFA

Canadian archival producer and copyright clearance specialist Elizabeth Klinck held an Industry Talk entitled "Archive docs rock in the Covidian epoch," and shared her experiences, insights, and tips for filmmakers working in this field. In the COVID-19 pandemic circumstances, production of all types of content has been halted, canceled, or postponed. 


But one type of filmmaking has not only continued to work, but is, in fact, thriving: archive documentaries. In her Industry Talk: Archive docs rock in the Covidian epoch, which livestreamed on the IDFA website on earlier today and is available in the Talks Library until November 27, Canadian archival producer and copyright clearance specialist Elizabeth Klinck shared her expertise, insight and tips for aspiring—or active—archive documentary filmmakers.


Klinck will again be a prominent presence on March 2 during Archive Day at the EFM.  She will moderate the morning session entitled “The Latest Buzz in Archival Research” and will then be on hand for consultations. The Latest Buzz session is designed for participants to gain an inside view on how archival material is used in documentary filmmaking and what the work of an archival researcher looks like. What should filmmakers know if they want to use third-party material in their work and what is the latest buzz in archival storytelling?


Joining Klinck will be internationally acclaimed researchers Monika Preischl from Germany and Morgane Barrier from France who will present clips from their recent work and share with the audience how rich and vast the scope of archival material can be.


Klinck is also involved in a session titled “Unlocking the Mysteries of Archives” which will look at the “communication channels” between archivists and users, looking to create greater understanding on both sides.


The inaugural Archive Day was held at last year’s Berlinale. “Hitherto, archives had not really been represented at the Berlinale. It was very well received last year,” Klinck notes. She hopes the momentum will continue this year, even if the event is online.

As has been widely noted, archives have been doing bumper business during the pandemic. Facing travel restrictions and with their subjects in lockdown, many directors have been turning to archival-based work.


“It has been a very good time for archive-heavy productions because we always have worked in relative isolation and so we don’t need to worry about Covid-testing and health and safety issues,” she observes. “The archives to their credit started digitising their collections five and even 10 years ago. That meant we were able to change quite quickly last March…I’ve really been impressed by how normal it has felt and how supportive the archives have been to those of us coming to them looking for material.”


Another welcome trend she has noticed is the interest among younger viewers in archive-driven fare.

“A lot of people have turned to archives to get their films finished. There is also a nice confluence between the need to do this during the pandemic and the burgeoning OTTs,” she adds, citing new streaming giants like Paramount Plus and Disney +. “They’re all looking for documentaries and they’ve found a younger audience which is quite exciting. For a long time, documentaries were considered to be skewing older but what they’re finding is a lot of younger viewers are excited by archival docs.”

One of Klinck’s jobs during the early part of the pandemic was finishing off Werner Herzog’s latest documentary Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds, in which the visionary German auteur, working together with Clive Oppenheimer, explores the influence of meteors and comets on ancient civilisations. The doc was made through Richard Merman at Spring Films in the UK.


“We worked together on a film about volcanoes a few years ago (Into the Inferno, 2016) so this was a follow-up,” Klinck says of Herzog, adding that the German was “absolutely delightful” and “extremely grateful and gracious about everything.”


During the first part of the pandemic, the Canadian also worked on BBC Science/Netflix series The Surgeon’s Cut, about four visionary scientists from different parts of the world.


Over the years, Klinck has collaborated with many leading names in the doc world, among them figures like Alex Gibney and Jerry Rothwell. “But I also leave room in my schedule for some younger filmmakers. They often are excited about archives but a bit overwhelmed by it. I’ve done a lot of mentoring.”


Klinck began her career at the National Film Board of Canada. “I was very fortunate to have a marvellous mentor called Barbara Sears. We now have an award at the Canadian Screen Awards named after her because tragically she died quite young. She took me under her wing.”

This was in the 80s, just as the technology was beginning to change. 


Once archives became searchable online, Klinck, then a young mother, was able to work from home. “I loved it because it employed my research skills and it was so satisfying to be able to look at so much great visual material. It also involves good business acumen, negotiating good prices and arranging bulk deals.”

No two projects are the same. Some she will work on for a month and others for a year.


Alongside her own visual research work, Klinck also works as a teacher. She has unrivalled contacts in the archival world, and very strong links in the UK. She has worked several times with Met Films, sits on the International Executive Committee for FOCAL (Federation of Commercial Audiovisual Libraries International), based in London, and had a long-standing relationship with the Sheffield Doc Fest, where she presented archive-themed masterclasses at the Documentary Campus.


Yes, she has worked on dramatic features but her main focus is documentary. She hopes soon to be back on the road, attending film events rather than participating via Zoom.


“I’ve always enjoyed attending film festivals. I started with Hot Docs in its very early days. And some of the Canadian Festivals. For me, it was a way to increase the visibility of the world of archives because over the years, that has sometimes been overlooked,” she notes.


“It has been fun. I get to meet people I would only have emailed [otherwise] and so that is always a delight. And I’ve often walked away with a good contract because I’ve met a filmmaker and we have clicked. The networking and business opportunities are great but most important for me was to raise the profile of archives,” she concludes.

Elizabeths Itinerary for 2020-2021

May 2021

Elizabeth will be delivering an Research, Rights and Clearances workshop for Documentary Campus at the Cologne Film Festival.


March 16-20, 2021

Elizabeth will be participating at M:Brane in Malmo, Sweden. M:brane is a unique meeting place with focus solely on projects aimed at a young audience in the areas of cinema, tv, documentaries, interactive, VR, immersive storytelling.  This year’s focus is on Canadian production. More info here: https://mbrane.se/


March 2 2021

Elizabeth is delighted to be participating in this year's EFM as part of the virtual Berlin Film Festival. Back for the second year in a row, I will be part of  ARCHIVE DAY­. Archive Day is framed by online talks presenting international experts from the areas of production, archives and archival research to discuss topics such as international collaborations in and around archival research & rights management.­­­­­­­­­  https://www.efm-berlinale.de/.../efm-industry-sessions...


January 28, 2021

Elizabeth was asked to be part of the first FOCAL Webinar Workshop.  Monthly workshops will be offered during the winter and spring from FOCAL in the UK.


On December 9th, Elizabeth has been asked to moderate a session on archive filmmaking entitled “There's Gold in Those Archives” featuring US filmmaker Dawn Porter and Archive Producer Rich Remsberg and German producer Gunnar Dedio and filmmaker Annette Bausmeister for the World Congress of Science and Factual Producers (WCSFP) virtual marketplace. https://www.wcsfp.com/entries/schedule



In November, Elizabeth has been asked to produce a virtual Industry session on archive filmmaking for Amsterdam’s IDFA.  More information and date to follow.



On October 30th Elizabeth will once again be moderating the Dok Leipzig Short ‘n Sweet Short Film Pitch focusing on the financing and distribution of short documentary, animated documentary and animated films. Accredited film professionals are invited to pitch their short film project in front of an international panel of buyers and distributors and an engaged audience of producers and peers. More info here: https://www.dok-leipzig.de/en/short-n-sweet


On October 20th, Elizabeth was invited by the Mediterranean Film Institute to participate in a virtual workshop entitled “Achieving the Authentic – The Use of Archives in Every Genre” on how to negotiate and obtain copyright permissions in order to ensure the authenticity and truthfulness of your production.  https://mfi.gr/mfi-script-2-film-workshops-2020/


In October, Elizabeth was a guest lecturer for York University’s Film Department,  Sheridan University’s Broadcast Journalism and Bachelor of Film and Television departments, and Fanshawe College’s TV and Film Production program.
https://mfi.gr/mfi-script-2-film-workshops-2020/



Elizabeth was invited by Nordisk Panorama to present and be part of their Documentary Expert Day on September 23rd.  The day consisted of presentations and individual consultations with renowned international documentary experts. More info here: https://nordiskpanorama.com/en/industry/forum/forum-2020/forum-expert-day-2020/



On September 9th Elizabeth will be moderating a panel discussion for FOOTAGE FEST entitled 'Accessing News Footage in a post-covid world.' As we approach the latter half of 2020 and perhaps the largest news cycle of our generation, the importance of TV news and global news-gathering has never been more valuable. Join us for a panel discussion on how and where to accessing news footage in a rapidly changing environment. Details here: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEqfuihqDMrG9CGec-tJX94AR2tuoylxlTE


In September Elizabeth will be a guest lecturer for the Hot Docs Doc Accelerator program instructing in the area of rights, research, and copyright. https://www.hotdocs.ca/i/accelerator



In July, Elizabeth produced and moderated a session on archive filmmaking for the Gimli Film Festival. Entitled Remains Of the Day: Archival and Found Footage it featured the work of international archive filmmakers Danny Clinch, Taryn Gould, Mira Burt-Wintonick, Ariel Nasr, and Chris Auchter. More info here:   https://gimlifilm.com/remains-of-the-day-archival-and-found-footage-filmmaking-panel/

An Interview with Elizabeth Klinck on Sunny Side 2020 Archive Workshops

Elizabeth Klinck: In the first workshop (Archive Workshop #1: Sourcing) we will delve into the making of  "Berlin 1945", a historic documentary from Autentic Distribution that takes viewers into Berlin's most fateful year through the eyes of those who lived through it: the German population and the Allied soldiers. Panelists will include Patrick Hörl, Managing Director, Autentic GmbH, and Andrew Bird, Editor - Zero One Film, and they will walk us through the various sources used by the producers to tell their story.

Watch Elizabeths Documentary Campus Keynote Address

Elizabeth's keynote address on the opportunities of working with archive material during and after Covid-19, the chances it offers and what filmmakers need to know about its use.  Presented by Documentary Campus and @NRW. 

Cheating Hitler has been nominated for a Rockie Award

Delighted that a Saloon Media project I worked on - Cheating Hitler: Surviving the Holocaust- has been nominated for a Rockie Award for Best Documentary & Factual - History and Biography. Congratulations to everyone on the team ! It was great experience working with everyone at Saloon Media.

Elizabeth is teaching a workshop at the 2020 Berlinale Film Festival

On February 25, an “Archive Day” will take place for the first time in Germany, featuring a mix of social and thematic components. Twelve of the most renowned international film archives will be on hand to inform market attendees about their collections and field concrete enquiries. 

Visual researchers Elizabeth Klinck (CA) and Monika Preischl (D) will co-moderate a talk treating the professional work of archival research, the role of archive producers and licensing. Additionally, a conversation between representatives from archives and production companies will compare the differing approaches to archival research found around the world. In the scope of a special sneak preview, rbb, ARTE, zero one film and bauder film will be presenting the first episode of Berlin 1945, a documentary series composed entirely of archival materials.

 

Elizabeth Klinck Receives Academy Board Tribute for Achievements in Archival Research

Archive researcher and producer Elizabeth Klinck received an Academy Board of Directors Tribute at the 2019 Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television Awards at the end of March.

“Elizabeth Klinck is the filmmaker’s secret weapon",” said producer Janice Tufford in her introduction at the awards ceremony. “In her role as Archive Producer, she’s worked on hundreds of films. She’s renowned for her ability to forage in the far corners of the world to find just the perfect image or piece of music. The directors and producers who come calling for her services -- everyone from Sarah Polley to Werner Herzog -- attest that their films are incomplete without her presence.”

Elizabeth is featured in the January/February of Realscreen

Elizabeth was interviewed by Realscreen in a roundtable discussion about the reemergence of the documentary art form and the demand for archival content. The article is in the January/February edition of Realscreen. To read the full article please click read more. 

Elizabeth to sit on the International Jury at the 21st Thessaloniki Documentary Festival

The International Competition section of the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival presents 10 films of over 50’ that compete for the Golden Alexander and the Special Jury Award. The Golden Alexander award is accompanied by a €8,000 cash prize and the Special Jury Award is accompanied by a €2.000 cash prize.

 

The five-member International Jury called to judge the films of the International Competition section is composed of:

Ally Derks, former Founder-Director IDFA (The Netherlands)

Elisabeth Klinck, Visual Researcher (Canada)

Sergi Doladé, Director MEDIMED (Spain)

Simon Lereng Wilmont, Film director (Denmark)

Panayotis Evangelidis, Film director, Scriptwriter (Greece)

Elizabeth Klinck to receive the Academy Board of Director's Tribute

Ms. Klinck’s career as a visual researcher has spanned more than three decades and has included work for directors including Werner Herzog, Jennifer Baichwal, Donald Brittain and Alanis Obomsawin, amongst many others. She is a three-time winner of the Barbara Sears Award for Best Visual Research at the Canadian Screen Awards as well as contributing to films that have won Emmy, Peabody and Academy awards. Ms. Klinck is a founding chairperson for the Visual Researchers’ Society of Canada.

Elizabeth has been nominated for the 2019 CSA Barbara Sears' Visual Research Award

Elizabeth is honoured to be nominated for her work on You Are Here: A Come from Away Story with colleague Mike Lalonde. You are Here was made by MDF Productions and broadcast on CTV.