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Baalbeck Studios
A Site of Memory
ستوديو بعلبك

منزلٌ من منازِلِ الذّاكرة
Since 2010


A notice reached UMAM D&R in early 2010: the Badie Bulos Building, home to Baalbeck Studios in Sin el Fil, was earmarked for demolition. And so, UMAM D&R got involved to ensure that invaluable audio-visual material and paper documents got rescued. Some of the material saved had been very badly affected by passing time, attacks during the civil war, and a fire and looting, all of which make it impossible to establish how much has been lost.
 
Great effort was therefore made to conduct a first inventory of some of the material rescued by UMAM D&R. Besides inspecting parts of the material, a first list of the films and the film production folders was compiled. In the summer of 2011, German film restoration expert Harald Brandes spent two weeks assessing the audio-visual material at UMAM D&R, assisted by Lebanese artist Siska and UMAM staff.

A first exhibition was held at the Institut français du Liban on September 20, 2013, at which a comprehensive publication, "About Baalbeck Studios and Other Lebanese Sites of Memory," available in English, French, and Arabic, was released. An exhibition on Baalbeck Studios was opened at The Hangar coinciding with International Archives Day on June 6 the following year.
 
Since May 2018, Nathalie Rosa Bucher has been opening the boxes that UMAM D&R has been safekeeping, which primarily contain paper material. These paper documents, folders, notebooks, and loose pages were separated from objects stored in between folders and were pre-sorted according to the same categories of the four Baalbeck Studios departments, namely recording studio, administration, laboratory, and the camera and equipment department. A virtual shelf was set up in early 2020 that allows for easy orientation. In order to reconstruct the story of Baalbeck Studios, a number of interviews have been recorded. And, Tony Daoud has assessed the film material and has been conducting emergency restoration work.

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