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The Metropolis Association and its partners have launched a crowdsourcing drive, one that's not looking for financial donations or investment, but stories.This means documenting and cataloguing Lebanon's cinema history, and the preservation and restoration of the films that comprise that history so they can be conserved, seen and studied.Professionals will tell you it's all but impossible to find intact film prints shot before the 1990s.In fact, the Lebanese state was a minimalist affair since its inception, so archiving Lebanese film production was fitful at best.As Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige demonstrated in their 2002 documentary "Al-Film al-Mafkoud" ("The Lost Film") the NCL has not quite lived up to its charter.Other significant bodies active in Lebanon's film heritage are UMAM Documentation and Research, which has collected some archives from the historic Studio Baalbek, and Nadi Lekol Nas, which has projected Lebanese films in screening cycles and released significant Civil War-era and postwar titles on DVD.Cinematheque Beirut's more conventional work – acquiring a physical space with facilities for collecting and archiving film reels (and other media), raising the funds for cleaning and restoration – will be the focus of phase two.
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