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.

Home Movies of Famed Female Baseball Team and Early Literacy Group Pegged for Preservation

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

San Francisco, CA (September 18, 2013)—Home movies of the Rockford Peaches (1943), the all-female baseball team that inspired Hollywood’s A League of Their Own; the Civilian Conservation Corps at work in Oklahoma; American WW2 operations in North Africa; an early TV quiz show; and the Faith Cabin Libraries (1950s), the program that promoted African American literacy across the rural South, were among the 33 films slated for preservation through grants announced today by the National Film Preservation Foundation. Awards went to 20 institutions from 13 states.

Among the other “orphan films” slated for preservation are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder (1987), a documentary exploring the role of African American church museums in preserving history; the final episode of the Boris Karloff serial The King of the Kongo (1929), united with its sound disc for the first time in decades; three silent-era Hollywood shorts (1919) for movie fans; Break and Enter (Rompiendo Puertas) (1970), profiling low-income families who protested gentrification in New York City; Day of the Dead (1957), an award-winning documentary from the Eames Studio; Escape to Montana’s Glacier Park (ca.1970), narrated by native son Chet Huntley, co-anchor of The Huntley-Brinkley Report; avant-garde works by El Paso filmmaker Willie Varela; and 1922 sound-on-film experiments by Joseph Tykociner, credited with the first successful public demonstration of synchronized optical sound and image. For a full list, click here.

“It is tremendously heartening to see culturally significant home movies once again singled out for historic preservation through the NFPF’s far-sighted grant programs,” said Katie Trainor (The Museum of Modern Art), cofounder of the internationally celebrated Home Movie Day, scheduled this year for October 19. “For decades, amateur filmmakers have been on the spot documenting events, people, and places that fall under the radar of the professional media. The old and the new, the humdrum and the celebrated, the bizarre and the brilliant—home movies have captured it all.”

The NFPF preservation grants target newsreels, silent-era films, documentaries, important amateur films, avant-garde works, and endangered independent productions that are not preserved by commercial interests. 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 advanced film preservation in 266 American institutions and saved more than 2,065 films through grants, national projects, and international collaborations to preserve “lost” American films found abroad. The NFPF also publishes the award-winning Treasures from American Film Archives DVD series, which makes available rare films saved by public and nonprofit archives. The NFPF receives federal money through the Library of Congress to distribute as grants but raises operating and project funding from other sources.

The Summer 2013 grant recipients are:

  • Allied Productions (NY)
  • Anthology Film Archives (NY)
  • Emerson College (MA)
  • Filson Historical Society (KY)
  • George Eastman House (NY)
  • Harvard Film Archive (MA)
  • Hoover Institution, Stanford University (CA)
  • Library of Congress (DC)
  • Midway Village Museum (IL)
  • Montana Historical Society (MT)
  • Mooresville Public Library (NC)
  • Oklahoma Historical Society (OK)
  • Oregon Historical Society (OR)
  • Silent Cinema Presentations (NY)
  • Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum (DC)
  • Third World Newsreel (NY)
  • Trinity University (TX)
  • University of Illinois at Urbana—Champaign (IL)
  • University of South Carolina (SC)
  • 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 website: www.filmpreservation.org.

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