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.

Tod Browning’s Drifting (1923) and John Cage's Sun Project Pegged for Preservation

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

San Francisco, CA (June 12, 2012)—The National Film Preservation Foundation today announced grants to save 60 films, including Tod Browning’s underworld melodrama Drifting (1923), starring Wallace Beery and the 18-year-old Anna May Wong, and a newly discovered film by composer John Cage and sculptor Richard Lippold, The Sun Project (1956). Awards went to 35 institutions located across 22 states.

Also slated for preservation are Liferaft Earth (1969) by Robert Frank and Danny Lyon; a 1924 tour of the Showley Brothers candy factory in San Diego; footage of the Taos Art Colony in 1917; Julie Dash’s Illusions (1982) about a Hollywood executive who passes as white; That Other Girl (1913) with Pearl White; the only known moving image footage of novelist Ford Maddox Ford; the comic Parson Sue (1913), about a female minister who goes West; The Instant Guide to Synanon, made to woo corporate supporters; the student-film-turned-cult-classic 33 Yo-Yo Tricks (1976); abstractions created by Jordon Belston for the Vortex Concerts; two profiles of Chicago’s Vice Lords gang; documentaries about the Navajo, Apache, Yaqui, and Zuni; home movies by Slavko Vorkapich, the Everly Brothers, an Penobscot tribal elder, a Pullman porter, American foreign service officer stationed in 1930s China, and two brothers touring Europe on the eve of World War II; and other historically significant American films unlikely to survive without public support. For a full list, visit www.filmpreservation.org.

“Who would believe that a film by John Cage would turn up in a storage facility or that a Pearl White comedy would be uncovered in a mislabeled film can? I am constantly amazed at the treasures that come to light through the National Film Preservation Foundation’s preservation grants,” said Paolo Cherchi Usai, Senior Curator at George Eastman House. “And, of course, Eastman House is thrilled by the grant to preserve Tod Browning’s Drifting. Using complementary material from other collecting institutions, we plan to preserve the feature with new English-language intertitles and make it available to American audiences for the first time in decades.”

The NFPF preservation grants target newsreels, silent-era films, documentaries, culturally important home movies, avant-garde films, and endangered independent productions that fall under the radar of commercial preservation programs. The awards provide support to create a film preservation master and two access copies of each work. Films saved through the NFPF programs are made available to the public for on-site research and are seen widely through screenings, exhibits, DVDs, television broadcasts, and the Internet.

Since its creation by Congress in 1996, the NFPF has provided preservation support to 248 institutions and saved more than 1,946 films and collections through grants and collaborative projects. The NFPF also publishes the award-winning Treasures from American Film Archives DVD series, which makes available rare films preserved by public and nonprofit archives that have not been commercially distributed. 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 grant recipients are:

  • Academy of Natural Sciences (PA)
  • African American Museum and Library, Oakland Public Library (CA)
  • American Museum of Natural History (NY)
  • Anthology Film Archives (NY)
  • Atlanta History Center (GA)
  • Buffalo Bill Historical Center (CA)
  • Center for Visual Music (CA)
  • Chicago Film Archives (IL)
  • Country Music Hall of Fame (TN)
  • Film-Makers’ Cooperative (NY)
  • George Eastman House (NY)
  • Harvard Film Archive (MA)
  • Hoover Institution Archives (CA)
  • John Cage Trust (NY)
  • Johns Hopkins University (MD)
  • Keene State College (NH)
  • Morven Park (VA)
  • Museum of Fine Arts Houston (TX)
  • National Center for Jewish Film (MA)
  • National WWII Museum (LA)
  • New Mexico State Records and Archives (NM)
  • Northeast Historic Film (ME)
  • Northern Arizona University (AZ)
  • Rutgers University (NJ)
  • San Diego History Center (CA)
  • Silver Bow Art (MT)
  • UCLA Film & Television Archive (CA)
  • University of California, Los Angeles (CA)
  • University of Oregon (OR)
  • University of Southern California (CA)
  • Virginia Commonwealth University (VA)
  • Washington University (MO)
  • Wethersfield Historical Society (CT)
  • Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research (WI)
  • Wisconsin Historical Society (WI)

The National Film Preservation Foundation is the nonprofit organization created by the U.S. Congress 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 the complete list of projects supported by the NFPF, visit the NFPF Web site: www.filmpreservation.org.

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