Archivio Aperto 16th edition

HomeMovies100 – A film a year (1924-1989)

HomeMovies100 – A film a year (1924-1989)

Program curated by Paolo Simoni with Enrico Riccobene and Agnese Garbari


Home Movies 100 is a long-standing project mapped on the occasion of the small-gauge cinema’s 100th anniversary. Yes, indeed, the first small-gauge formats destined for broad circulation were born a century ago: the 9.5mm Pathé Baby and Kodak’s 16mm. Between 1923 and 1924 these “revolutionary” films are put on the market. Even though the first projectors and distribution prints of home cinema from the French Pathé came out by Christmas 1922, we had to wait until the second half of 1923 to access the first cameras and unexposed film stocks that would allow everyone to film themselves. Across the ocean, in America, Kodak launched the 16mm, an amateur format that would have a very long life, – persisting to this day – and a much wider and more differentiated use. The list of areas and contexts in which they could be used is very long: it starts with family films to independent cinema, and continues with industrial and scientific films, and even television productions. Take a look at the focus of Archivio Aperto 2023’s Archivi Vivi section on 16mm, following the Festival’s dedicated tribute to 9.5mm last year.


In the past two years, Home Movies 100 has created the digital platform, which is at the core of two subsequent projects presented at Archivio Aperto: the Almanac, which consists of the daily publication of an archival short-form film shot on that same day between the years of 1920s and 1980s, and Tales of the Small-Gauge Format, which presents interviews, archival materials and other documents on the history of amateur and experimental cinema in Italy.


Within the 16th edition of Archivio Aperto, through various modes of enjoyment, the programs A Film a Year – Almanac Anthology and the Stories of the small-gauge film are presented


A Film a Year – the Anthology of the Almanac

A film a day: throughout 2023, Home Movies publishes daily a small-gauge format film stemming from family, amateur, or experimental archival collection, which is shot on that same day. Various events of this “short century” of amateur cinema, unfold into a full audio-visual calendar, followed by the changing of the seasons and attesting to the cyclical nature of time. For Archivio Aperto 2023, we propose A Film a Year, an anthology composed of Almanac’s fragments presented in five programs and shown in chronological order, from 1924 to 1989. One film to represent one year. The timeline as a stream to be submerged in. And so, once again, we will probe the relationship between amateur cinema and history. 


We will thus see the twentieth century in its making, recounting the “short century” or, in our case, the “small-gauge century.”


Tales of the Small-Gauge Format

Ten clips of the small-gauge format’s history will be scattered throughout the festival’s program, recalling the extensive excavation work in the polyphonic history of Italian amateur and experimental cinema. They are also accessible on the HomeMovies100’s platform.