More than 2 and a half hours of filming that include scenes from the Centennial of the Independence celebrations and from different stages of the Mexican Revolution, were restored thanks to the jointed efforts of the National Institute of Anthropology and History
(INAH) and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), process that extends its conservation another 100 years.
Thanks to the financial support of INAH, UNAM Film Library counts on with 35 mm copies for their projection, as well as digital versions of the aforementioned films and of movies related to the Revolution: El prisionero 13, El compadre Mendoza y Vámonos con Pancho Villa directed by Fernando de Fuentes between 1933 and 1935.
INAH and UNAM signed a collaboration agreement to promote teaching, research and cultural divulgation signed by Dr. Jose Narro Robles, rector of UNAM, and Alfonso de Maria y Campos, INAH general director, as witnesses of honor.
INAH projected part of the restored material recently at the 3rd Regional Encounter of Photo Libraries that took place in Tepoztlan, Morelos. Among the scenes is the exclusive reception that inaugurated the General Mental Hospital in the former La Castañeda Hacienda, in September 1st 1910; military parades, images of Emiliano Zapata and of the invasion to Veracruz in 1914.
Most of the scenes were shot by Alva brothers (Salvador, Guillermo, Eduardo and Carlos) between the end of Porfiriato period and 1917. A documentary will be created with the images and a script by Carlos Martinez Assad.
The images had lost their reproduction quality due to the passing of time and the different films and cameras used to shoot them; they were sent to Vision Globale Laboratory, in Montreal, Canada, which collaborates with Quebec Film Library, informed Guadalupe Ferrer, director of Cinematographic Activities at UNAM.
Scenes had not contrast, a lot of faces could not be perceived, and now, thanks to the digital process used, images improved and are safe for another 100 years, she declared.
Films were scanned and recovered digitally, recorded in LTO3 tape, and then transferred to 35 mm film.
This way, specialists from INAH and UNAM have supervised restoration and digitalization of films guarded at UNAM Film Library, after the agreement signed as part of the Centennial of the Revolution commemorations.
The National Coordination of Cultural Heritage Conservation is the INAH instance in charge of this project, and the General Direction of Cinematographic Activities will be the UNAM area responsible of it.