MOVIE LAB: make a film from public archives

Internet Archive LogoThe Emerald Tablet and University Of The Commons (UOTC) are proud to present MOVIE LAB: Make a Film from Public Archives, the first in a series of educational film workshops based around the Internet Archive and its resources.

The Internet Archive (, headquartered in San Francisco, houses a collection of ephemeral and amateur films, made available to the public domain as important cultural artifacts of historical value. Anyone can access and download those films, free of charge, and use them in any way as long as the purpose is non-commercial.

Together, the films available in the Archive are an invaluable resource for developing an alternative understanding of 20th century history through publicly available moving images. In effect, these resources create a public digital space, where citizens can challenge the institutionalized vision of history that we are raised to believe from a young age.

To inspire this civic intervention in historical time, Movie Lab offers a series of educational workshops in which people will learn about the Archive and enjoy curated programs of films from its database. These short programs will open the initial session of the workshops, and serve to demonstrate the importance of these forgotten documents, especially in the attempt to challenge institutional and official historical discourses.

The workshops will include all necessary practical information and training. Students will be empowered to:

  • Access and navigate the Archive and all its online databases
  • Download the content
  • Put together short programs with basic editing tools.

WHEN: Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30 pm. Five sessions, April 9 to May 7. Final screening: Sunday May 12, 7 pm.
WHERE: The Emerald Tablet, 80 Fresno Street, North Beach, San Francisco, CA 94133. (map)
COST: FREE. This University of the Commons workshop is free and open to the public.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Movie Lab is a five-week workshop that seeks to engage people, both through theory and practice, with the figure of the film archive as a key public space of the digital world. Focusing on the publicly available collection of, the course offers the basic training needed to access and legally download the footage, as well as elementary editing skills that will allow students to create their own pieces.

SYLLABUS: Please click here to download the syllabus as a PDF file.

REQUIREMENTS: Bringing a laptop is strongly encouraged, since a big part of the workshop is based on editing tutored sessions where the student will practice the skills taught previously. We cannot provide laptops for each student. However, if you don’t have your own laptop, you can still attend and we will do our best to make arrangements for you.

A photo of Enrique FiblaINSTRUCTOR BIO: Enrique Fibla Gutiérrez (Valencia, 1986) holds a B.A. in Audiovisual Communication by the Universidad Autónoma Barcelona, and is currently finishing an M.A. in Cinema Studies at San Francisco State University. He has worked as a freelance writer for digital magazines like FronteraD, Miradas de Cine and Filmin and as a short film producer and programmer in the Film Festival Curt Ficcions. He is also a researcher in Doc Film Institute at SFSU and co-founder of the collective filmed correspondence project Pigeonrenga. Enrique will be joined by a guest instructor for the last two classes and the final screening and special event:

A photo of Lur OlaizolaGUEST INSTRUCTOR BIO: Lur Olaizola Lizarralde (Donostia, 1988) holds a B.A in Audiovisual Communication by the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB), and an M.A. in Cinema Studies by the Pompeu Fabra University. She has worked in the Center of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCCB) as an audiovisual archivist and video director and editor. She lives in New York, where she works as a radio news correspondent covering cultural events. She is currently completing several media related projects and video projections for music bands. View a brief promotional video about Movie Lab, created by Lur Olaizola:

One Response to “MOVIE LAB: make a film from public archives”

  1. […] Emerald Tablet invites you to an evening of archive creativity on behalf of “Movie Lab“, the first of many workshops on the nature of digital archives and the creative process. For […]