NATIONAL FILM PRESERVATION FOUNDATION PRESERVES 1000th FILM, SILENT-ERA CLASSIC HUCKLEBERRY FINN
Contact: Annette Melville (415-392-7291, firstname.lastname@example.org)
San Francisco, CA (October 11, 2006)—The National Film Preservation Foundation today announced the preservation of its 1000th film, the celebrated 1920 adaptation of Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The classic will be preserved by George Eastman House from a 35mm color-tinted nitrate print originally found in Denmark. Huckleberry Finn is one of the few complete features to survive from director William Desmond Taylor (1872–1922).
Since its founding by Congress ten years ago, the NFPF has provided preservation support to 152 institutions across 38 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The NFPF programs target American films that are unlikely to survive without public support. Films saved through its programs range from social dramas by Thomas Edison's studio to avant-garde animation and performance footage of New Orleans jazz greats. The NFPF also publishes the award-winning Treasures from American Film Archives DVD series, which makes available rare films preserved by American archives that are not in commercial distribution. The NFPF receives federal money through the Library of Congress to distribute as grants but raises all operating and project funding from other sources.
"The federal investment in film preservation is a government success story," said former Senator Fred Thompson, who serves on the NFPF Board of Directors. "With only a few hundred thousand federal dollars a year, the NFPF has rescued films from every part of the country and illuminated whole slices of American history. My home state alone has been able to save more than twenty films, from amateur movies of Hank Williams to footage of the Tennessee Tweetsie railroad."
"Like so many American silent films, Huckleberry Finn dropped from sight with the coming of talkies," commented Don Crafton, a scholar serving on a recent NFPF grant panel. "Today no complete copies survive in American archives except for this single print repatriated from Denmark some decades ago. We owe the Danish people thanks for safeguarding this quintessential American classic."
The National Film Preservation Foundation, the nonprofit organization created by the U.S. Congress to help save America's film heritage, is the charitable affiliate of the National Film Preservation Board of the Library of Congress. It was ten years ago today that President Clinton signed into The National Film Preservation Foundation Act of 1996 into law. For the complete list of projects supported by the NFPF, visit the NFPF Web site: www.filmpreservation.org
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