Library Service: Selection of 16mm Films
This list consists of 16mm material purchased by the Western Cape Library Service between 1956 and 1996, approximately 5,200 titles. The majority are documentaries in the broadest sense of the word, ranging from straight educational or informational films, to made-for-television programmes, classics of the cinema and more personal works by filmmakers from all over the world. This material is complemented by selected fictional films, amongst them early works by now famous directors, children’s films, animation and experimental material, as well as a few features.
Details of the titles available appear in six non-cumulative printed catalogues, as well as on the wc.slims.gov.za website. Of some titles, especially earlier purchases, there is more than one copy and some consist of more than one reel. Thus there are an estimated 6,200 reels on the shelves. It should be noted that prior to 1990, what was then the Cape Provincial Library Service also purchased material for the Northern and Eastern Cape. After the old Cape Province was broken up, this material reverted to the new provinces.
The films themselves vary considerably in importance. Many of them were originally obtained from educational production companies like Encyclopaedia Britannica Educational Corporation, Coronet Films, Learning Corporation of America, International Film Bureau, International Film Foundation, Weston Woods, Sterling Films, Phoenix Films and many others. Others came from overseas governmental sponsors, such as the National Film Board of Canada, the United States Information Service, British Transport Films and the Netherlands Ministry of Information. Finally, there are films from commercial sponsors, such as the Shell Film Unit and the Ford Motor Co., as well as many titles obtained directly from individual filmmakers. Of some films we are known to have one of the few remaining copies anywhere
.This list currently presents them in order of the surname of the filmmaker and then according to the year of production. It also provides the title, details of the printed volume in which a synopsis can be found, its running time, its country of origin and the name of the production company. When there is more than one director credited, the film is listed twice and the abbreviation ’co’ is given next to the filmmaker’s name. Finally, all these entries were checked against the internet and where available, the link to the site where a copy film is housed has been provided. Please note that such links may come and go whenever the person who uploaded it chooses to do so. Also note that though all these films are listed in the printed catalogues, they have not yet been checked against the actual stock. In other words, over the years some titles may have been deleted because of wear and tear and some may have gone missing.