THE BAJA POST
SOURCE: PRN MEDIA
Two years after its initial launch, the Jerusalem Cinematheque’s Israel Film Archive website – where hundreds of digitally restored Israeli films and archival footage clips have been made accessible to the general public – has had a makeover and is now relaunching a new and improved version, complete with a range of user experience (UX) upgrades and advanced search tools for viewers everywhere.
Highlights of the new online features include browsing by theme, genre, individuals, etc. Additionally, viewers will now be able to watch films directly from the homepage with just one click, and will also have the option of accessing all available content – be it Israeli narrative, artistic, or historical films – unsorted into unique categories, which would lend itself to comprehensive unified and free text search options, a smart search feature with a variety of refining filters, and lots more.
The new version of the website is going live a little over two years since the original launch of the archive’s far-reaching digitisation scheme that has delivered to the general public a treasure trove of historical archival footage of the land from well over a century ago, as well as a wide variety of Israeli films, local newsreels, and so much more. Since launching, the website has attracted widespread interest with over 1.6 million users worldwide who have since visited, and a total of 2.4 million online hits. The new and improved site offers a wholesome streaming experience, complete with a wealth of Israeli films of unparalleled sound and video quality, alongside an advanced search engine which offers seamless access to tantalising pieces of history and film.
As part of the comprehensive digitisation and restoration project, hundreds of narrative and historical films that spent years and years boxed up in the archive’s basements, were added to the website’s online catalogue and made available for streaming, free of charge. To mark the launch of the new website, a wealth of new content has been added including 31 new film titles, 136 historical clips of archival footage, and three brand-new collections: Tel Aviv by Night, Israeli Film of the 1960s, and Jerusalem in Film.
Jerusalem Cinematheque’s Israel Film Archive CEO, Roni Mahadev-Levin: “we’re delighted to be launching the archive’s new and improved website that will go even further towards extending the reach of the archive’s online content to the general public. Thousands of films that comprise a major part of the history of the Land of Israel were previously all but inaccessible to the general public, and now; thanks to [the archive’s] digitisation scheme and the website’s relaunch, the public may browse and search through the range of content and footage with greater ease and convenience. We are witnessing the vast interest in our online catalogue shown by countless viewers, and with the launch of the new website we truly believe that we’ll be able to extend our reach even further to greater audiences both locally and globally.”
Director of Online Public Access, Hilla Shitrit: “we were thrilled to realise that Israeli audiences had a genuine appetite for watching recent history in moving images. Of the 10,000 available clips of historical archival footage, not one has yet to be viewed. Of course, we appreciate that everyone will have their own unique interests. This is also very much the case with Israeli films where there are those who’ll be streaming the popular classics, but also those who will actively seek out everything that for decades had been inaccessible and unavailable to viewers. Now, as the demand continues to grow, we couldn’t be more excited to bring users a brand-new version of the website, and we hope that the fun and rewarding viewing experience we have in store for them makes the website that much more popular amongst audiences.”