Here are the winners of the SPA Film Festival Award 2019!

Vilde Ronge, Section of Professional Associations Chair | 21 November 2019

Film can be such a powerful way of communicating, and for the second time, SPA decided to have a Film Festival to celebrate our profession and asked the world to send us their films on archives and records management so that we all could be inspired on how to communicate even better!

Professional associations that we in SPA represent, are crucial for the promotion of archives and records management. That's why we encouraged you to produce films about the impact of our jobs. We sent out a call in October last year to professionals across the globe, in search of films which communicate the importance and relevance of records and archives. Within the deadline we received 58 entries which met the required qualifications.

The jury – the SPA board members – reviewed all entries and decided on twelve nominees in four different categories:

  • Best Film explaining the relevance and importance of Archives and Records Management
  • Best Film portraying the relevance and Importance of Archives and Records Management
  • Best Film using Humor to Communicate about Archives and Records Management
  • Best Film Made by Students

The jury also decided on the four winners. In addition, we have a fifth category: the open people's award, that anyone and everyone could vote for. The online voting amongst the 12 nominees was open from August 18 and up until Wednesday October 23. During that timeframe, we received 15295 votes from 15295 individual voters, an amazingly high number!

Here are the nominees and the winners:

Best Film explaining the relevance and importance of Archives and Records Management.

The nominees are:

1. The Fifth Branch Company of CCCC Second Harbour Engineering Co. Ltd. (China)

2. Escuela Superior de Archivística y Gestión de Documentos (Catalonia)

3. Scottish Council on Archives (Scotland)

And the winner is:

Scottish Council on Archives, Scotland

This is what the Jury says about the winner:

The film is titled Why Archives Matter and the storyline certainly explains that very well. It is an informative overview of how archives are important for people today. Interviews and historical images and footage are integrated very well in the film. We are given lots of information throughout the entire film, but it's all linked up to today and there's never a dull moment. Although it is about Scottish archives, we are sure that everyone can adopt the message and show the film in his/her own country, it does show in a beautiful way how archives are important to individuals but also collectively how important they are to a nation.


Next category is Best Film Portraying the Relevance and Importance of Archives and Records Management

and the nominees are:

1. State Grid Sichuan Electric Power Company (China)

2. Municipality of Bærum (Norway)

3. Comune di Rovereto - Biblioteca civica "Tartarotti" (Italy)

And the winner is:

Municipality of Bærum, Norway

The jury says this about the winner:

The film is short, yet very precise. It is relatable, it talks about today, digitalization and how that effects us all. It describes the early phases of the value chain of archive material, and portrays in an effective way how simple operations of today can be improved by digitalizing processes and at the same time capture valuable documentation for the future. This was one of the few entries which show the importance of digital records. We really liked the way the film compares the work process before and after digitalization and the fast-speed "silent movie" style is also an effective method of telling something in an understandable, engaging and fun way.


The third category is Best film using Humor to Communicate about Archives and Records Management.

And the nominees are:

1. Archives départementales du Nord (France)

2. Hessisches Landesarchiv (Germany)

3. University of Alcalá (Spain)

And the winner is:

Archives départementales du Nord, France

The jury says this about the winner:

The story of an archive is told through a very silly, but fun song. The lead singer carries his guitar around the premises and sits on shelves and so forth with a very serious look on his face. The film gives an overview of all archives operations in an engaging and entertaining way, starting out with a user who comes to the archive with his arms full of papers and guiding him through the whole archives. The film shows professional passion and joy and just you wait: you'll be singing the tune in no time, and it gets stuck in your head forever!


La Chanson des Archives

The final category where the Jury has decided on the winner, is a new category from last time: Best film made by students.

And the nominees are:

1. Renmin University of China (China)

2. Zhengzhou University (China)

3. Art Studio Stępowska Agnieszka (Poland)

And the winner is:

Art Studio Stępowska Agnieszka, Poland

The jury says this about the winner:

This is a touching and beautiful film with a storyline that really moves you. From the birth of a child, all through childhood and schooling, it shows all the documentation we all leave behind. Do you take care of your memories – the film asks in the end. And then moves on to: The

documents of your life are your legacy. Don't destroy them. The film shows the importance of documenting individuals, but also the larger society. Documents are pieces of the puzzle of one's own identity. The tragic opposite – which is not shown in the film – is the reality of those people without papers, mainly migrants. The film is low budget, but still so beautiful, powerful and touching.


Document in a Human Life

The final award is the People´s award.

We started the online voting August 18 and made all twelve nominees available through the ICA website.

The winner has been in the lead from day one and obtained 70% of the votes, so a clear winner:

State Grid Sichuan Electric Power Company (China)

The Torch