LANDMARK FILM PRESERVATION LEGISLATION SIGNED BY PRESIDENT BUSH
Contact: Barb Gibson (510-531-4521, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jeff Lambert (415-392-7291, email@example.com)
San Francisco, CA (May 10, 2005)—On April 27, President Bush signed into law landmark legislation affirming the nation's commitment to film preservation. PL 109-009 extends the work of the National Film Preservation Board of the Library of Congress through 2009 and authorizes $530,000 annually for the film preservation programs of the National Film Preservation Foundation.
"This is great news for everyone who loves American film," said Leonard Maltin, a Film Board member. "These two organizations are expanding the types of films available to the public and changing the way we think about the history of motion pictures."
The National Film Preservation Board advises the Librarian of Congress on the selection of films for the National Film Registry, the celebrated roster of American films that have had a significant artistic, historical, or cultural impact on our country. Registry titles document the full range of American filmmaking, from Hollywood classics such as Gone with the Wind to the Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination. Each year 25 new titles are added. Film Board members represent organizations from across the motion picture community and serve upon the appointment of the Librarian of Congress.
The National Film Preservation Foundation, the Film Board's charitable affiliate, is the grant-giving nonprofit organization created by Congress in 1996 to help save American film. The NFPF awards preservation grants and produces publications that improve the public access to American film. It has given grants to archives, libraries, and museums across 37 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, and preserved more than 800 historically and culturally significant films that were unlikely to survive without public support. The NFPF published The Film Preservation Guide, the first English-language film preservation primer for beginners, and has produced two critically acclaimed DVD box sets illustrating the range of films preserved outside of Hollywood. Both Treasures from American Film Archives, 50 Preserved Films and More Treasures from American Film Archives, 1894-1931 received awards from the National Society of Film Critics.
"The NFPF can be credited with completely changing the film preservation landscape," wrote Chris Horak, Curator of the Hollywood Entertainment Museum, in Spring 2005 Film Quarterly. "Before its founding, only a handful of American film archives were receiving federal grants for preservation-mostly for mainstream Hollywood features. Since then, numerous American archives, historical societies, university libraries, and other non-profits have been encouraged to look at their film collections... The result has been an explosion in preservation consciousness, even in many institutions previously not associated with film archiving."
The film preservation provisions were part of The Family Entertainment and Copyright Act (S. 167) and received bipartisan Congressional support. Sponsoring S. 167 were Senators Orrin Hatch, Lamar Alexander, John Cornyn, Dianne Feinstein, and Patrick Leahy. Many Representatives worked on behalf of the bill.
For more information on the National Film Preservation Board of the Library of Congress, see www.loc.gov/film. For more on the National Film Preservation Foundation, see www.filmpreservation.org.
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