About the NFPF
The National Film Preservation Foundation is the nonprofit organization created by the U.S. Congress to help save America's film heritage. We support activities nationwide that preserve American films and improve film access for study, education, and exhibition.
The NFPF started operations in November 1997, thanks to the generous support of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and The Film Foundation. Many across the country have pitched in to help.
Our top priority is saving American films that would be unlikely to survive without public support. Over the past decade, we have developed grant programs to help archives, historical societies, libraries, museums, and universities preserve films and make them available for study and research. Our grants distribute federal funds secured through the leadership of the Library of Congress and preservation services donated by public-spirited laboratories and post-production houses. Congress increased the authorization for this work in 2005 and 2008. Every penny of these federal funds goes out to the field and we raise operational support from other sources.
The NFPF also organizes, obtains funding, and manages collaborative projects that enable film archives—large and small—to work together on preservation initiatives beyond the scope of single institutions. Published through these collaborations are the award-winning Treasures DVD series, The Film Preservation Guide, The Field Guide to Sponsored Films, and the International Federation of Film Archive’s database for locating silent films.
Most recently the NFPF has partnered with National Film and Sound Archive of Australia and the New Zealand Film Archive to preserve and return to the United States American silent films that have been unseen for decades. Through these efforts, dozens of American films long thought to have been lost are being made available for research and exhibition through U.S. archives and for Internet viewing through the NFPF.
As of December 2020, the NFPF has supported film preservation in cultural institutions in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico—efforts that are making available to the public 2,549 historically and culturally significant films. Films preserved through our programs range from one-reelers by Thomas Edison to avant-garde animation.
The NFPF is a grant-giving public charity, affiliated with the Library of Congress's National Film Preservation Board. We depend on private contributions to support our preservation programs.