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.

Films by Tambellini, Mike Kuchar, Hugo, Markopoulos, Yalkut Honored


Contact: Jeff Lambert (415-392-7294, lambert@filmpreservation.org)

San Francisco, CA (April 17, 2012)—Aldo Tambellini’s “Black Films” and pioneering experimental works by four other filmmakers—Ian Hugo, the international banker-turned-artist who worked with Anaïs Nin; Mike Kuchar; Gregory Markopoulos; and Jud Yalkut—will soon be saved through the 2012 Avant-Garde Masters Grants from the National Film Preservation Foundation and The Film Foundation. The $50,000 award to preserve and present major works of experimental cinema will be shared by five organizations: Anthology Film Archives, Harvard Film Archive, the Library of Congress, Temenos, and the Trisha Brown Dance Company. With the 2012 grants, the program has saved works by 49 filmmakers significant to the development of the avant-garde in America.

“For the past 10 years, the National Film Preservation Foundation and The Film Foundation have preserved more than 100 films through Avant-Garde Masters Grants,” said Martin Scorsese, who began the initiative in 2003 through seed money from The Film Foundation. “There's no other program of its kind. I'm thrilled that 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.”

The 2012 awards kick off a year of celebrations showcasing films preserved through the innovative program. The Tribeca Film Festival starts the festivities on Saturday, April 21, with a screening and a discussion with Abigail Child, Larry Gottheim, and Carolee Schneemann, all filmmakers recognized with Avant-Garde Masters grants. Other events are scheduled at Anthology Film Archives in New York City; Harvard Film Archive in Cambridge; Il Cinema Ritrovato festival in Bologna, Italy; the Onion City Film Festival in Chicago; the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley; the Seattle Film Festival; and the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio. Check the NFPF website, www.filmpreservation.org for details over the coming months and for a complete list of 105 Avant-Garde Masters films.

The Avant-Garde Masters Grants are the first grants specifically targeting the preservation of American experimental film. They encourage archives to team up with filmmakers to save their works and share them for study and exhibition. The program has ferreted out forgotten masterworks in 20 institutions across the country—from early computer animation created by Lillian Schwartz at Bell Laboratory to Samuel Beckett’s Film. “Treasures can turn up where you least expect them,” said NFPF Chairman Roger Mayer. “The NFPF is honored to collaborate with The Film Foundation in saving these films on film and returning them to the big screen.”

The National Film Preservation Foundation, which manages the grants, is the nonprofit organization created by the U.S. Congress to help save America’s film heritage. Founded in 1996, the NFPF has supported film preservation in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia and has helped save more than 1,870 films. The NFPF is the charitable affiliate of the National Film Preservation Board of the Library of Congress.

Created in 1990 by Martin Scorsese, The Film Foundation, which funds the grants, is dedicated to protecting and preserving motion picture history. By working in partnership with the leading archives and studios, the foundation raises awareness of the urgent need for preservation and has saved over 560 films. In addition to the preservation, restoration, and presentation of classic cinema, the foundation teaches young people about film language and history through The Story of Movies, the organization's groundbreaking educational program that is used by over 92,000 educators. Joining Scorsese on the board of directors are Woody Allen, Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson, Francis Ford Coppola, Clint Eastwood, Curtis Hanson, Peter Jackson, Ang Lee, George Lucas, Alexander Payne, Robert Redford, and Steven Spielberg. The Film Foundation is aligned with the Directors Guild of America.

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