Cinenova is a London-based organisation dedicated to the conservation and distribution of work by feminist filmmakers and video artists. Cinenova was created in 1991 out of the merger of two separate feminist distributors, Circles and Cinema of Women, both founded in 1979. Cinenova currently distributes over 300 titles, including artists' films, experimental cinema, narrative feature films and documentary and educational videos, made between the 1920s and the late 1990s. The films deal with resistance, postcolonial conflict, gender representation, race and sexuality and other diversity-related issues, but above all, the relations and alliances forged between these struggles.
In collaboration with the Cinenova Working Group (the group of volunteers currently in charge of conservation and distribution of the archive), ‘Their Past is Always Present’ seeks to develop ‘research spotlights’ on the work of the artists in the collection. Each separate spotlight involves the restoration of a selection of materials by one or more filmmakers and research from a critical and gender perspective, with the aim of contributing to the knowledge and publicisation of the history of women's cinema. The output of these ‘research spotlights’ will be socialised via public programmes, including the screening of restored materials and the publication of original critical literature based on the research work.
During the 2018-2019 academic year, the spotlight was turned on Sandra Lahire and Joanna Davis, while in 2019-2020 the team will focus on the work of Annabel Nicolson.