The Slovak Film Institute (SFI) is the sole state-funded memory and archive institution operating in the area of audiovision in Slovakia. The National Film Archive and the National Cinematographic Centre are the SFI’s basic organisational units. The SFI is a member of the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF), European Film Promotion (since 2006); it functions as a service workplace for the European Audiovisual Observatory (EAO) and the Council of Europe cinema support fund – Eurimages. Creative Europe Desk Slovensko is also part of the Slovak Film Institute.

► The Film Institute in Bratislava was established on 1st April 1963 and it was placed under the directorate of Film Production and Distribution (Filmová tvorba a distribúcia) in Bratislava. The film archive also became part of the Institute; it was established in 1958 by the film historian Ivan Rumanovský at the Slovak Film Distribution Company (Slovenská požičovňa filmov).

► In 1970, the SFI was presented with a copy of
the first Slovak full-length feature film Jánošík (Jánošík, dir. Jaroslav Siakeľ, 1921) which was
later restored, provided with a soundtrack and in 1995 UNESCO placed it among the world cultural heritage.

► In 1972, the Film Institute came under the Central Office of Slovak Film (Ústredie slovenského filmu).  

► By the end of 1976 the Film Club of the Central Office of Slovak Film was opened in Bratislava; at the present day, Cinema Lumière, belonging to the Slovak Film Institute, is located on its premises.

► In July 1989 the SFI came under the state organisation Slovak Film Production Bratislava - Koliba (Slovenská filmová tvorba Bratislava - Koliba) up to 1st January 1991 when, by decision of the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic (MC SR), the Slovak Film Institute - National Cinematographic Centre was established as an independent public contributory organisation managed by the MC SR. Hence, by delimitation, the SFI also acquired producer rights to the archived films which were made before 1991 by Slovak Film Production.

► The Slovak Film Institute participated in the preparation of the extensive publication called History of Slovak Cinematography (Dejiny slovenskej kinematografie, 1997); currently the second, updated edition is in preparation.

► In 2001, the SFI became a full member of
the prestigious International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF).

► In 2002, the SFI published its first DVD (Pictures of the Old World/Obrazy starého sveta, dir. Dušan Hanák, 1972); since then it has published dozens of other DVDs in over 500,000 copies.

► In 2002, the SFI started to implement the long-term integrated audiovisual information system project, SK CINEMA, for processing, storing, inter-connecting, organising, searching and presenting information from the SFI’s individual departments.

► In 2006, the Government adopted the draft Project of the Systematic Restoration of Audiovisual Cultural Heritage with the objective of rescuing cinematographic and audiovisual works and gradually making them accessible to the public. This is the SFI’s long-term priority project.

► In 2008, the Audiovisual Act entered into effect. It regulated and re-defined the position, tasks and activities of the SFI.

► In 2008, SFI’s shop was opened. It presents a broad offer of filmological literature, DVDs and CDs and other materials.

► Since 2011, in association with the Radio and Television of Slovakia, the SFI has implemented
the national project entitled Digital Audiovision
in order to systematically digitise the audiovisual heritage and make it accessible. Two specialised digitisation workplaces are part of the project. SFI’s digitisation workplace is located in the basement of Cinema Lumière in Bratislava.

► In September 2011, Cinema Lumière was opened in Bratislava. The cinema is operated by the SFI.

► The national Digital Audiovision project was concluded on 30 November 2015; however, it will be retained until 2020. Read more about it on pages 32 – 33.