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.

Treasures New Zealand Debuts in September

Contact: Barbara Gibson (510-502-0746, gibson@filmpreservation.org)

San Francisco, CA (June 3, 2013)—Long-lost films by John Ford, Mabel Normand, and Alfred Hitchcock are brought back to life in the 3-1/4-hour DVD, Lost and Found: American Treasures from the New Zealand Film Archive announced today by the non-profit National Film Preservation Foundation. Treasures New Zealand draws from the extraordinary cache of nitrate prints safeguarded in New Zealand for nearly a century and preserved through a groundbreaking international partnership led by the NFPF. None of the DVD’s films have been seen before on video; in fact, none were even thought to exist just four years ago. The DVD goes on sale for $24.98 in September and can be preordered online through many Internet retailers.

Treasures New Zealand not only resurrects lost works by major directors but also presents a fascinating sampling of the industrial films, newsreel stories, cartoons, serial episodes, previews, and comedies recovered through the initiative. The full line-up includes:

  • John Ford’s Upstream (1927), a backstage comedy by the 4-time Academy Award-winning director, and a preview for his lost film Strong Boy (1929)
  • The White Shadow (1924), the opening 3 reels from the earliest surviving feature credited to Alfred Hitchcock, the assistant director, art director, writer, and editor
  • Lyman H. Howe’s Famous Ride on a Runaway Train (1921), reunited with its sound-effects disc for the first time in decades
  • Birth of a Hat (ca. 1920), showing how Stetson made its famous hats
  • The Love Charm (1928), a South Seas romance shot in 2-color Technicolor by Oscar-winning cinematographer Ray Rennahan
  • Won in a Cupboard (1914), the first surviving film directed by and starring Mabel Normand
  • Andy's Stump Speech (1924), directed by Norman Taurog, following funny-paper favorite Andy Gump on the campaign trail
  • The cartoon Happy-Go-Luckies (1923), 5 newsreel stories, and an episode from Dolly of the Dailies (1914) in which the unstoppable newspaperwoman saves the day and gets the scoop

Slated for release by Image Entertainment, Treasures New Zealand is playable worldwide and includes an illustrated catalog with film credits, essays, and forewords by Leonard Maltin and The Honourable Chris Finlayson, the New Zealand Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage; more than 180 interactive screens; newly recorded music by Michael D. Mortilla and Donald Sosin; and a music video extra.

That films lost in the United States came to be found 7,000 miles away speaks volumes about the international popularity of American movies from the very start. By the late 1910s, American distributors circulated prints around the globe with the expectation that they would be shipped back or destroyed at the end of their runs. But some prints evaded destruction and made their way into public collections, like the New Zealand Film Archive. Today hundreds of American movies from the silent era that were not saved in this country survive aboard.

The Treasures New Zealand films can be shared today thanks to the generous stewardship of the NZFA, the preservation work directed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, George Eastman House, the Library of Congress, the Museum of Modern Art, and UCLA Film & Television Archive, and the contributions of hundreds of donors. The National Film Preservation Board of the Library of Congress, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Argyros Family Foundation underwrote the production of the DVD. Net proceeds will support further film preservation.

The National Film Preservation Foundation is the nonprofit organization created by the U.S. Congress to help save America's film heritage. Since opening its doors in 1997, the NFPF has supported film preservation in 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico and has helped save more than 2,000 films. The charitable affiliate of the National Film Preservation Board of the Library of Congress, the NFPF is the producer of the award-winning Treasures from American Archives DVD series.

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