ADVOCATE, CONNECT, ENGAGE - REPORT ON 19TH SEAPAVAA CONFERENCE, SINGAPORE, 22-28 APRIL 2015
SEAPAVAA is the South East Asia-Pacific Audiovisual Archives Association. It’s the professional forum in which NFSA and the Friends can relate to their closest neighbours. Its annual conference moves around the region, and this year the venue was Singapore. It was hosted by the Asian Film Archive, and most conference sessions were held in Singapore’s huge National Library building. Both the NFSA and the Friends are long standing members of SEAPAVAA, and on this occasion the Friends was represented by its president, Ray Edmondson.
With over 170 registrants, it was the biggest and busiest gathering to date. To accommodate the large number of papers, the two day symposium ran parallel sessions. Presenters came not only from the region, but also from Europe and North America. The conference theme was “Advocate, connect, engage” and papers were clustered around these three related topics.
A technical day, known as “Restoration Asia”, comprised a range of presentations on film restoration, audiovisual file formats and other digital issues. It was followed by day-long workshops on “Succession planning”, led by the NFSA’s Mick Newnham, and “Advocacy: the how and why of it”, led by me..
It’s planned that the conference papers will be progressively added to the SEAPAVAA website (www.seapavaa.com) – this will take a little while, though. Next year’s event will move to the Pacific – the island of Guam.
SEAPAVAA membership is open to individuals as well as qualified organisations. The Association actually grew out of an ASEAN-sponsored training workshop held at the NFSA back in 1995. From small beginnings it has proved its value. It has a formal relationship with UNESCO and is a member of the world peak forum, the CCAAA (Coordinating Council of Audiovisual Archive Associations).