AMPAS Pickford Center, night

About the Academy Digital Preservation Forum

In 2007, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences published The Digital Dilemma. The report defined the issues that the motion picture industry faced with respect to long-term storage of, and access to, digital motion pictures and other digital assets. Based on a survey of experts in the field, from studio executives and technology department heads to those charged with preserving medical, military, and geographical data, the report warned of challenges inherent in digital preservation and recommended consensus next steps. In it, the Academy promised to “bring together studio decision-makers and technology resources, as well as other experts, to further define the requirements and issues in the archiving of and access to digital motion picture materials.”

The Council followed through on this promise with various initiatives through a multi-year partnership with U.S. Library of Congress. These initiatives include a digital archiving case study project, educational activities, and research partnerships with leading universities and research communities. Details on this work may be found here.

In 2019, the Academy’s Science and Technology Council began planning an in-person workshop to assess progress in addressing these concerns and charting further work. When these plans were derailed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Council decided to redirect its efforts into creating an online community to serve the same purposes, guided by a curatorial team comprised of industry preservation experts, studio archivists, and technologists. The result is the Academy Digital Preservation Forum, which brings together practitioners and stakeholders for ongoing information exchange and productive work to address the challenges of digital preservation of motion pictures.