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Bayshore Round-Up (1920)

Film showing the Bayshore Amusement Park in its heyday, preserved by the Maryland Historical Society with NFPF support.

Avant-Garde Masters Grants

Samuel Beckett’s FILM (1965, preserved by UCLA Film & Television Archive), directed by Alan Schneider and starring Buster Keaton.  CLICK HERE for more images.

While art lovers throng to museum exhibitions of paintings by Jackson Pollock and Keith Haring, few know of the experimental works made by artists who brought a similar cutting edge to film. Even at the time, the films were difficult to see. Made on a shoestring, the works were rarely protected by back-up copies. Few prints were made. Over the past decades, as video has replaced 16mm projection, many avant-garde classics have dropped from view.

In 2003 The Film Foundation joined forces with the National Film Preservation Foundation to create the Avant-Garde Masters Grants, the first grant program targeting the preservation of masterworks of American experimental cinema. The awards have made it possible for filmmakers to partner with archives to preserve their works as they were intended to be seen. Each grant not only protects the film with a new preservation master but also provides for new copies for study and exhibition.

In thirteen years of grantmaking, the Avant-Garde Masters have saved 138 films by 61 filmmakers. Twenty-two organizations have participated, making the newly preserved prints available for study and sharing them with hundreds of exhibition venues. “There's no other program of its kind,” writes Martin Scorsese, who began the initiative through seed money from The Film Foundation. “The work of such artists as George Kuchar, Shirley Clark, and Kenneth Anger has been preserved and—equally important—made available so audiences can actually see these extraordinary films.”

Let’s salute the filmmakers celebrated through grants:

Kenneth Anger

  • Rabbit's Moon (1950–70, UCLA Film & Television Archive)

Samuel Beckett and Alan Schneider

  • Film (1965, UCLA Film & Television Archive)

James Broughton and Sidney Peterson

  • The Potted Psalm (1946, Anthology Film Archives)

Rudy Burckhardt

  • The Climate of New York (1948, Anthology Film Archives)
  • One Flight Up (1969, Anthology Film Archives)

Fred Camper

  • Welcome to Come (1968, Northwest Chicago Film Society)

Robert Chatterton

  • Passion in a Seaside Slum (1961, Los Angeles Filmforum)

Abigail Child

  • Mutiny (1982–83, Harvard Film Archive)
  • Pacific Far East Line (1979, Harvard Film Archive)
  • Peripeteia I and II (1977–78, Harvard Film Archive)
  • Prefaces (1981, Harvard Film Archive)

Tom Chomont

  • Abda / Rebirth / . (1975, UCLA Film & Television Archive)
  • Aria (1970, UCLA Film & Television Archive)
  • Epilogue/Siam (1969, UCLA Film & Television Archive)
  • Ophilia/The Cat Lady (1969, UCLA Film & Television Archive)
  • The Heavens and Earth (1977-1978, UCLA Film & Television Archive)
  • Jabbock (1967, UCLA Film & Television Archive)
  • Joe's Maison (1984, UCLA Film & Television Archive)
  • Love Objects (1971, UCLA Film & Television Archive)
  • The Mirror Garden (1967, UCLA Film & Television Archive)
  • Oblivion (1969, UCLA Film & Television Archive)
  • Phases of the Moon: The Parapsychology of Everyday Life (1969, UCLA Film & Television Archive)
  • A Persian Rug (1969, UCLA Film & Television Archive)
  • Portret (1970, UCLA Film & Television Archive)
  • Space Time Studies (1977, UCLA Film & Television Archive)

Shirley Clarke 

  • 24 Frames Per Second (1977, Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research)

Shirley Clarke and Wendy Clarke

  • Butterfly (1967, Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research)

Shirley Clarke and Robert Hughes

  • A Scary Time (1960, Museum of Modern Art)

Bruce Conner

  • America is Waiting (1981, Anthology Film Archives)
  • Cosmic Ray (1961, Anthology Film Archives)
  • Mea Culpa (1981, Anthology Film Archives)
  • Report (1963–67, Anthology Film Archives)
  • Ten Second Film (1965, Anthology Film Archives)

Joseph Cornell

  • Collage Fragments (1940s?, Museum of Modern Art)

Oskar Fischinger

  • Raumlichtkunst (1926–29, Center for Visual Music)

Hollis Frampton

  • (nostalgia) (1971, Museum of Modern Art)

Ernie Gehr

  • Side/Walk/Shuttle (1991, Museum of Modern Art)

Larry Gottheim

  • Barn Rushes (1971, New York Public Library)
  • Blues (1969, New York Public Library)
  • Doorway (1970, New York Public Library)
  • Horizons (1971–73, New York Public Library)

Tessa Hughes-Freeland and Tommy Turner

  • Rat Trap (1985, New York University)

Ian Hugo

  • Ai-Ye (1950, Library of Congress)
  • Bells of Atlantis (1953, Library of Congress)
  • Jazz of Lights (1954, Library of Congress)
  • Melodic Inversions (1958, Library of Congress)

Ken Jacobs

  • The Doctor's Dream (1978, SUNY Binghamton)
  • Globe (1971, Anthology Film Archives)

George Kuchar

  • Anita Needs Me (1963, Anthology Film Archives)
  • Asphalt Ribbon (1977, Harvard Film Archive)
  • Motel Capri (1986, Harvard Film Archive)
  • One Night a Week (1978, Harvard Film Archive)
  • Sylvia's Promise (1962, Anthology Film Archives)
  • The Thief and the Stripper (1959, Anthology Film Archives)
  • A Town Called Tempest (1963, Anthology Film Archives)

Mike Kuchar

  • Born of the Wind (1961, Anthology Film Archives)
  • The Confessions of Babette (1963, Anthology Film Archives)
  • Green Desire (1965, Anthology Film Archives)

Kuchar Brothers

  • I Was a Teenage Rumpot (1960, Anthology Film Archives)
  • Night of the Bomb (1962, Anthology Film Archives)
  • The Slasher (1958, Anthology Film Archives)
  • A Woman Distressed (1962, Anthology Film Archives)

Owen Land/George Landow

  • Film in Which There Appear Sprocket Holes, Edge Lettering, Dirt Particles, Etc. (1966, Anthology Film Archives)
  • A Film of Their 1973 Spring Tour Commissioned by Christian World Liberation Front of Berkeley, CA (1974, Anthology Film Archives)
  • Institutional Quality (1967, Anthology Film Archives)

Richard Leacock and Ed Pincus

  • Centerbeam (1977, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Norman Mailer

  • Untitled (1947, University of Texas at Austin)

George Manupelli

  • Dr. Chicago (1970, Anthology Film Archives)

Gregory Markopoulos

  • Eniaios: Cycle V (1948–90, Temenos)
  • Eniaios: Cycle VII (1948–90, Temenos)
  • Twice a Man (1963, Temenos)

Barbara McCullough

  • Water Ritual #1: An Urban Rite of Purification (1979, UCLA Film & Television Archive)

Jonas Mekas

  • Lost Lost Lost (1976, Anthology Film Archives)

Montage Productions (Richard Grove, Richard J. Meyer, Wayne Sourbeer)

  • Montage I: Paint and Painter (ca. 1959, George Eastman House)
  • Montage II: Ephemeral Blue (ca. 1960, George Eastman House)
  • Montage IV: The Garden of Eden (1962, George Eastman House)
  • Montage V: How to Play Pinball (1963, George Eastman House)

Julie Murray

  • FF (1986, Bard College)
  • Tr'cheot'my P'sy (1988, Bard College)
  • A Legend of Parts (1988, Bard College)
  • Conscious (1993, Bard College)

Tom Palazzolo

  • America's in Real Trouble (1967, Chicago Filmmakers)
  • Bride Stripped Bare (1967, Chicago Filmmakers)
  • He (1967, Chicago Filmmakers)
  • O (1967, Chicago Filmmakers)
  • Tattoed Lady (1968–69, Chicago Filmmakers)

Marguerite Paris

  • 1970 Gay Pride Parade (1991, Mix NYC)
  • Burma Road (1977, Mix NYC)

Sidney Peterson

  • The Cage (1948, Anthology Film Archives)
  • The Petrified Dog (1948, Anthology Film Archives)

Jorge Prelorán

  • Claudia (1972–73, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution)

Luther Price

  • Green (1988, Bard College)

Mark Rappaport

  • Local Color (1977, George Eastman House)
  • Mozart in Love (1975, George Eastman House)

Larry Rivers

  • Tits (1969, Larry Rivers Foundation)

Ed Ruscha

  • The Books of Ed Ruscha (ca. 1969, UCLA Film & Television Archive)

Carolee Schneemann

  • Body Collage (1967, Electronic Arts Intermix)
  • Illinois Central Transposed (1968, Electronic Arts Intermix)
  • Meat Joy (1964, Electronic Arts Intermix)
  • Snows (1967, Electronic Arts Intermix)
  • Water Light/Water Needle (1966, Electronic Arts Intermix)

Lillian Schwartz

  • Enigma (1972, Ohio State University)
  • Mutations (1972, Ohio State University)
  • Olympiad (1971, Ohio State University)
  • Papillons (1976, Ohio State University)
  • Pixillation (1970, Ohio State University)

Paul Sharits

  • Analytical Studies III: Color Frame Passages (1973–74, Anthology Film Archives)
  • Analytical Studies IV: Blank Color Frames (1975–76, Anthology Film Archives)

Beryl Sokoloff

  • Gaudi (1962, SilverBow Art)

Frank Stauffacher

  • Notes on the Port of St. Francis (1951, Pacific Film Archive)

Aldo Tambellini

  • BLACK IS (1965, Harvard Film Archive)
  • BLACK TRIP #1 (1965, Harvard Film Archive)
  • BLACK PLUS X (1966, Harvard Film Archive)
  • BLACKOUT (1966, Harvard Film Archive)
  • BLACK 67 (1967, Harvard Film Archive)
  • SUNBLACK (1968, Harvard Film Archive)
  • BLACK TV (1968, Harvard Film Archive)
  • BLACK TRIP #2 (1969, Harvard Film Archive)
  • MOONBLACK (1969, Harvard Film Archive)
  • BLACK SPIRAL (1969, Harvard Film Archive)

Tommy Turner

  • Simonland (1984, New York University)

USCO Collective

  • Y (1963, Intermedia Foundation)

Stan Vanderbeek

  • Home and Dome (1965, Museum of Modern Art)

Slavko Vorkapich

  • Moods of the Sea (1942, UCLA Film & Television Archive)

Andy Warhol

  • Dance Movie (1963, Andy Warhol Museum)
  • Face (1965, Andy Warhol Museum)
  • Tiger Morse (1966, Andy Warhol Museum)
  • The Velvet Underground in Boston (1967, Andy Warhol Museum)

Lawrence Weiner

  • Altered to Suit (1979, Electronic Arts Intermix)

Jud Yalkut

  • Ghost Rev (1963, Intermedia Foundation)
  • Planes (1968, Trisha Brown Dance Company)