Exhibition Reel of Two Color Film (ca. 1929)

An experimental color short in Brewster Color, preserved by George Eastman House and presented on the More Treasures DVD set.


Contact: Jeff Lambert (415-392-7291, lambert@filmpreservation.org)

San Francisco, CA (May 17, 2006)—Thanks to new preservation grants announced today by the National Film Preservation Foundation, 28 archives, libraries, and museums will receive funding to save historically significant American films that would be unlikely to survive without public support.

Documenting subjects ranging from coal mining to Negro League baseball, the 67 works slated for preservation reflect the vibrant diversity of America's film heritage. Included are footage of the original Smoky the Bear receiving treatment for burns after his rescue by New Mexico wildlife officials; The Exiles (1961), Kent Mackenzie's independent feature about Native Americans in Los Angeles; Herman Engel's About Sex (1972), a widely praised sex education film made for teenage audiences; a silent comedy from the Essanay studios; home movies of New Orleans Jazz funerals; footage of a 1912 fire fighter parade in Bridgeport, Connecticut; four short documentaries filmed during the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention; and independent works by Adam Beckett, Richard Hell, Danny Lyon, and Judd Yalkut.

"I'm thrilled that Kent Mackenzie's The Exiles (1961) has made it onto the NFPF's preservation list, and can finally become available to a wider public," said critic Jonathan Rosenbaum. "This poetic feature about Native Americans on a night-long spree in Los Angeles's Bunker Hill, with a dense and original soundtrack and stunning cinematography, deserves to be ranked with John Cassavetes' Shadows for its unforgettable portraiture."

New this year are matching grants enabling institutions to undertake large projects to save films of outstanding historic or artistic significance. This program expansion is made possible by The National Film Preservation Foundation Reauthorization Act of 2005, which passed last year with bipartisan support.

Duke University received one such grant to preserve the H. Lee Waters' Movies of Local People, a collection of small-town portraits filmed in the Carolinas, Tennessee, and Virginia from 1936 to 1942. Thanks to the publicity surrounding the recent addition of Waters' Kannapolis to the National Film Registry, Duke has found several "lost" films in the series, which will be preserved through the NFPF grant.

"Waters understood that people were eager to see their friends and family on the big screen," said archivist Karen Glynn of Duke University's Perkins Library. "What makes these films so unusual is that the filmmaker documented everyday life in both the white and black communities and kept ledgers recording when and where his films were shown."

The grant recipients are:

  • Anthology Film Archives (New York)
  • Appalshop (Kentucky)
  • Backstreet Cultural Museum (New Orleans)
  • Bridgeport Public Library (Connecticut)
  • Center for Visual Music (California)
  • Chicago Film Archives (Illinois)
  • Chicago Filmmakers (Illinois)
  • Duke University (North Carolina)
  • Emory University (Georgia)
  • George Eastman House (New York)
  • Georgia Archives (Georgia)
  • International Tennis Hall of Fame (Rhode Island)
  • iotaCenter (California)
  • Mariners' Museum (Virginia)
  • Missouri Historical Society (Missouri)
  • New Mexico State Records Center and Archives (New Mexico)
  • New York Public Library, Donnell Media Center (New York)
  • New York University (New York)
  • Niles Essanay Museum (California)
  • Northeast Historic Film (Maine)
  • Rhode Island Historical Society (Rhode Island)
  • Roger Tory Peterson Institute (New York)
  • Texas Archive of the Moving Image (Texas)
  • Trinity College (Connecticut)
  • UCLA Film and Television Archive (California)
  • Universidad del Este (Puerto Rico)
  • Western Reserve Historical Society (Ohio)
  • World Figure Skating Hall of Fame (Colorado)

The NFPF's federal grants enable archives to make new preservation masters and access copies of historically and culturally significant American films that are not owned by commercial interests. With these awards, the NFPF has advanced film preservation in 38 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico and helped save more than 900 films and collections.

The National Film Preservation Foundation is the nonprofit organization created by the U.S. Congress in 1996 to help save America's film heritage. The NFPF is the charitable affiliate of the National Film Preservation Board of the Library of Congress. For a full list of funded projects, please visit the NFPF Web site: www.filmpreservation.org.

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