Samples of film materials that were scanned for the “Archive of Private Film History” and come from family collections.


Drahoslav H., 1968, 8mm, Foma.

Enlightened amateur filmmakers were also able to capture events outside their own family. A close view of the face of enemy soldiers is a unique feat.

Jana B., 1923, 35mm.

A short clip shot on commission. During the First Republic there were a few small companies that provided this service. These films were only a few minutes long and generally captured festive social or family events.

Mark P., 1950, 8mm Kodak.

A sample of the quality standard of material from abroad. Czechoslovak compatriots in Toronto recorded their Sokol festivities. Masaryktown was a site they purchased with money from a collection among the community, which they then fixed up and met there regularly. It is still working today.

Eva D., 1960, 16mm, Foma.

A family film recorded over many years, capturing a number of scenes from the author’s professional life. The semi-professional 16mm film format was certainly not cheap and was rather an exception for amateur filming.

Jan N., 1946, 16mm, Agfa.

A good quality camera, material and lifelong amateur experience with shooting.

Jaroslav N., 1980, S8mm Kodak.

The quality of Western film materials considerably exceeded what was produced in the East. Compared to Standard 8mm film, the Super 8mm format reduced the perforation size and increased the film frame by nearly 45%. The leap in image quality was clear.

Vladimír V., 1958, 35mm.

The production of a group of amateur film enthusiasts from northern Bohemia reached professional parameters in terms of film material, technique and even the topics they shot. A rare phenomenon in otherwise nationalised Czechoslovak cinema.

Svatava J., 30.léta, 8mm, Agfa.

The author was a head constructor for Jawa, shooting a number of scenes associated with his profession. This time it was a recreational ride by the Jawa Club to Slovakia.

Svatava J., 1945, 8mm, Agfa.

Another work by a talented film amateur who managed to look at the world around and expressed an uncommon feeling for the language of film.

Helena D., 1941, 8mm Agfa.

A family film shot using German film, which before and even at the start of the war was the best quality on the market. The not quite perfect focus is in this case caused by the camera used, or rather the lens.

Jan Š., 1945, 35mm, Agfa.

A 13-minute professional documentary, directed by Otakar Vávra. The first Czech colour documentary film. Beneš’s trip to the Prague Castle on 16 May 1945 was captured by 12 cameramen. The colour fluctuates considerably from shot to shot.
The documentary contains a number of interesting background details. For example, the large number of various Soviet uniforms protecting the president. They did not let him out of their sight from the very first moment…