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Frequently Asked Questions

The European Film Gateway is a web portal offering access to film and film-related treasures collected and preserved by over 30 European film archives. It is a search engine which offers you centralised access to digital collections dispersed on different national websites. Instead of having to visit the individual websites you can search through them via the EFG. The EFG is neither a filmographic database nor a video on demand portal, instead it showcases and focuses on archival objects. All objects presented on the EFG are held locally at the archives contributing to the portal. To acquire material, please get in touch with the respective archives. Requests for material need to be directed to the individual archives, they cannot be handled centrally.

The EFG provides access to historic archival material held in 16 European film archives and cinémathèques. You can find selected films (documentaries, newsreels, advertising, early short and feature films) and a wide variety of film related material (e.g. still and set photos, posters, set design drawings, censorship and film production documents, laterna magica slides and much more). The database will grow with archives regularly adding new material. Since early 2013, the EFG offers access to a vast collection of films from and related to the First World War. These were digitised  by 21 film archives in the scope of the EFG1914 project. To find out more about the collections accessible via the EFG, click here.

If you are not searching for anything in particular, check out the featured objects on the EFG start page or have a look at our collection descriptions, which are linked to materials belonging to the respective collections. For videos from the First World War years, check out our dedicated sub-page.

Entering a search term in the free-text field initiates a search through all data elements. Most object titles and descriptions come in the language provided by the contributing archive and in English at best. Hence, if you search a film title, a person or a keyword, you will only get results containing the exact search term that you entered. For example, if you search for “house” you will get different results than for “casa” etc. The same is true for film titles and their different international release titles as well as for spelling variants in person names. While we generally recommend using English terms to get the most results, entering the original title when looking for a film work will increase your chances of a successful search.

The EFG offers 4 different filter options that allow you to narrow down your search by archive, time period, object type (image, text, video) and language. Please note that the language filter refers to the original language of the individual objects, concerning mostly films and text. 

The European Film Gateway is a showcase for the digital collections of European film archives. The objects you find on the EFG are part of the growing stock of archival material, Europe’s film archives have been digitising over the past years. However, the material on the EFG represents only a small percentage of the analogue collections held by the archives. Due to copyright issues not all material held by archives can be made accessible via the EFG. Find an overview on what is available on the EFG here.

The European Film Gateway is the result of an EU-funded project which started in 2008 with 14 European partner archives. For the first time, a number of film archives made a joint effort to give online access to selected collections via one portal. Over the years, further European archives got connected to the EFG, mainly through the follow-up project EFG1914. Today, over 30 European film archives contribute content to the EFG and the portal is open for contributions from further film archives. To find out more, please don't hesitate to contact efg@deutsches-filminstitut.de .

The European Film Gateway is part of the Europeana network. The Europeana portal available at www.europeana.eu gives people access to millions of digitised objects from Europe's museums, libraries, archives and audiovisual collections. To get the data into Europeana, they work mainly with aggregators, rather than with individual institutions. The EFG functions as such an aggregator for the film archive sector. We gather material from the individual film archives, standardise the metadata, harmonise vocabularies and channel it into the Europeana portal. All the material that can be found in the EFG is also searchable via Europeana, where it is complemented by related material coming from other cultural institutions. To find out more about Europeana network please click here.

All films, images, texts and metadata made available on this site are copyright protected, unless stated otherwise. Only non-commercial, personal use of the website’s content is permitted. All other rights being reserved, the total or partial reproduction of the website is strictly forbidden. For further information, please see the Terms of Use and get in touch with the archive holding the objects you would like to re-use.

Videos on the EFG are available for viewing only, there is no download functionality provided.

By filling in the registration form for My EFG, you get access to your free personal work space that allows you to bookmark, comment and tag objects within MyEFG. If you register you can also subscribe to our news alerts.

The metadata accompanying the available objects come directly from the contributing archives and thus are their responsibility. If you find mistakes, please contact the archive indicated as “Provider” on the respective detailed result entry.

Currently, only institutions can contribute to the EFG, no individual persons. If you would like to make your digital collections searchable via the EFG, please fill in the short questionnaire under Contribute Content and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Please contact the archives directly to find out about their materials. Each entry in the EFG names the provider of the respective object. Here you can find a list of all contributing archives with a link to their websites.

For further questions or comments related to the EFG portal or project, please fill in the contact form. We will respond to your query as soon as we can.

The European Film Gateway showcases the digital collections of over 30 European film archives. The analogue films as well as the digital files are held by the archives contributing to EFG. In order to get high resolution material, please contact the archives directly. If you're looking for First World War films specifically, please visit our First Worls War Films - Title list that includes the necessary contact information to the archives.