Thank you very much indeed

The Reel Thing, organised by Grover Crisp and Michael Friend, and the Joint Technical Symposium (JTS) have been essential sources of inspiration for my own work. When attending I always felt like returning home.

I was very surprised when Mick Newnham asked me to deliver the keynote speech at the last JTS, in 2016 in Singapore. And I have been even more surprised when Rachael Stoeltje announced me a few days ago that I was one of the recipients of the inaugural JTS Awards.

Thank you ever so much for this immense honour!


All my career in this field since 1986 was driven by sharing.

I have been giving my first courses in conservation and restoration of movie films in 1989, exactly 30 years ago. Since then the exchange has been particularly intense with many countries in Southeast Asia, such as Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines, Singapore or Thailand. And almost always I had the strong impression that I am receiving much more than I can even offer. It’s also often an useful mind-opening experience: when coming back to Europe or to continental North America, one should notice that here many of the problems we have to face are actually problems of rich people. Really!

In 1999, exactly 20 years ago, when I was head of preservation at the Cinémathèque suisse (the Swiss National Film Archive), I wrote a first report for the new Research and Archive Centre, which was officially inaugurated a few weeks ago. My report was about the evil: digital. I tried – without any success – to convince the institution that not only film, but also video and coming digital-born items must be considered, as well as … computer games. I don’t think I was visionary back then, I think that I was just able to analyse the ongoing evolutions from a strictly scientific point of view, and to make the necessary synthesis of the available information in an archival perspective.

JTS has always been fascinating for me, because people form different horizons come together to share knowledge and experiences. For example the broadcast people were already in the middle of mass-digitisation projects while the film people were discussing on yet another restoration of … Metropolis. So many flavours of the same intent: to preserve the legacy and to celebrate the future.

My wish for JTS is a simple one. Let’s continue to share and to exchange on technical matters, let’s continue to collaborate despite the difficult political situations many countries on the planet Earth are currently facing.