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 (October 21, 2008)—The Blood of Jesus (1941), the hugely successful African American salvation drama, is among the 58 films to be preserved through grants announced by the National Film Preservation Foundation. Among the other projects receiving support are the fountain-of-youth melodrama Black Oxen (1924) with Corrine Griffith and Clara Bow; The First 100 (1964), a recruitment film for the North Carolina volunteer group that became a model for VISTA; Matto Grosso (1931), an expeditionary documentary shot with synchronized sound deep in the Brazilian jungles; films by a husband-and-wife team of their 1930s canoe trek from California through the Panama Canal; sound trailers for country music stars; and home movies of Stalinist Russia, Idaho mines, Las Vegas tourist sites, and Iowa farm communities.

"The Blood of Jesus, shot in Texas on a shoestring budget, is probably the most popular movie made for African American audiences before World War II," said Jacqueline Stewart, professor of film at Northwestern University and National Film Preservation Board member. "It is the first feature by writer-director Spencer Williams, later a star of TV's Amos 'n' Andy, whose films have been vastly underappreciated despite his unique ability to capture Black religious and cultural practices while experimenting with film style." Blood of Jesus was named by the Librarian of Congress to the National Film Registry in 1991. Southern Methodist University will preserve the film working with the only known surviving 35mm print.

The NFPF programs preserve and make accessible historically and culturally significant motion pictures that are unlikely to survive without public support. The grants distribute federal funds authorized by The National Film Preservation Foundation Act of 2005 and secured through the Library of Congress as well as preservation services contributed by laboratories and postproduction houses. Donating services in 2008 are: Audio Mechanics, BluWave Audio, Chace Productions, CinemaLab, Cinetech, Colorlab Corp., DJ Audio, Fotokem, and Triage Motion Picture Services.

The summer grant recipients are:

  • Alaska Moving Image Preservation Association (Alaska)
  • American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (Nebraska)
  • Appalshop (Kentucky)
  • Archives of the Evangelical Church in America (Illinois)
  • Brooklyn Historical Society (New York)
  • Center for Home Movies (California)
  • Center for Visual Music (California)
  • Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum (Tennessee)
  • Davenport Public Library (Iowa)
  • Florida Moving Image Archive (Florida)
  • George Eastman House (New York)
  • Haddassah Archives (New York)
  • Hildene, the Lincoln Family Home (Vermont)
  • Hirshhorn Museum Library (District of Columbia)
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art (California)
  • Nevada State Museum (Nevada)
  • New York University (New York)
  • Sherman Library & Gardens (California)
  • Southern Methodist University (Texas)
  • Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound (Tennessee)
  • UCLA Film & Television Archive (California)
  • University of Idaho (Idaho)
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (North Carolina)
  • University of Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania)
  • University of South Carolina (South Carolina)
  • Wisconsin Center for Film and Video Research (Wisconsin)

The National Film Preservation Foundation is the nonprofit organization created by the U.S. Congress to help save America's film heritage. Since starting operations in 1997, the NFPF has provided film preservation support to 187 institutions in 46 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The NFPF is the charitable affiliate of the National Film Preservation Board of the Library of Congress. For the complete list of projects supported by the NFPF, visit the NFPF Web site: www.filmpreservation.org.

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