Acquisition is one key aspect of the Archive’s front-line work. It traces the history of Hong Kong film from its inception to the present, reflecting the historical development of local film companies, studios, theatres, film processing laboratories, as well as the pattern of overseas distribution.
The Archive collects its materials mainly through donations and voluntary deposits. Other acquisition methods include loan, exchange, transfer, bequest and purchase. We have benefitted from the enthusiastic support of industry people, filmmakers and aficionados who share our mission in preserving local film heritage by contributing prints, posters, handbills and other artefacts. Many donors have passed to us their cherished memorabilia which can now be appreciated by the public.
We also work hard to search for prints and go overseas to locate hard-to-find copies. From the theatres in San Francisco’s Chinatown, we have acquired over one thousand films from the 1940s to 60s, including many classics that had long been considered lost, such as Fishermen's Song of the South Sea (1950), The Dividing Wall (1952), and A Mother Remembers (1953). The colour negative of Bruce Lee’s The Orphan (1960) is one of our finds in England; we have also retrieved copies of Lady Balsam's Conquest (1955) and Blood Will Tell (1955) from Japan.
Southeast Asia is another treasure trove, where we have unearthed many valuable magazines, handbills and film-related items.
The transportation of all films and related materials is executed by specialists under the supervision of Archive staff. Following our prevailing procedures, we then make archival arrangement to organise collection before they are moved into permanent storage.
Through years of efforts, the Archive now houses a collection of films and related materials of cultural significance. A selection of archival gems is available for loan to introduce to more people our varied film culture.