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.

James Blue’s The Olive Trees of Justice and Civil Rights Documentary The Streets of Greenwood To Be Saved

Contact: David Wells (415-392-7291, wells@filmpreservation.org)

San Francisco, CA (May 18, 2016)—The National Film Preservation Foundation today announced grants to save 64 films, including The Streets of Greenwood (1963), a documentary about civil rights activists registering African American voters in Mississippi, and James Blue’s The Olive Trees of Justice (1962), which won a critics’ prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Shot in Algeria during the war for independence with nonprofessional actors, The Olive Trees of Justice tells the story of a Frenchman born and raised in Algeria and his torn loyalty between the two countries that shaped his identity. All together grants were awarded to 39 institutions across 24 states.

“Thanks to this NFPF grant, James Blue’s feature debut will finally be seen again in its original 35mm format,” said Richard Blue, Chairman of the James Blue Alliance. “Two years ago when we screened what we thought was one of the only surviving 16mm prints of the film, the director James Ivory, a classmate of James Blue at the University of Oregon, urged us to restore the film. Spurred on by his support, we tracked down a 35mm interpositive at the CNC French Film Archives that will be used to create a preservation master and new screening prints.”

Among the other films funded for preservation are Howard Alk and Mike Gray’s documentary The Murder of Fred Hampton (1971); Les Goldman and Paul Julian’s animated short Hangman (1964); Holly Fisher’s Watermen (1968), about the “skipjack” fleets that harvested oysters in the Chesapeake Bay; footage of the young Ruby Bridges at William Frantz Elementary School, filmed by her teacher shortly after the six-year-old became the school’s first African American student; early computer animation by Ken Knowlton and Stan VanDerBeek; amateur footage from the 1930s taken at a Trappist monastery near Louisville, Kentucky; and rare 28mm prints of educational and industrial films from 1913–19, including The Mysteries of a Machine Gun (ca. 1918) and The Latest Kinks in Canning (ca. 1917). For a full list, click here.

The NFPF preservation grants target newsreels, silent-era films, 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 284 institutions and saved more than 2,287 films 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 operating and project funding from other sources.

The grant recipients are:

  • Alaska Moving Image Preservation Association (AK)
  • American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (NY)
  • American Museum of Natural History (NY)
  • Amistad Research Center (LA)
  • The Animation Show of Shows (CA)
  • Anthology Film Archives (NY)
  • Appalshop (KY)
  • Bellarmine University Library (KY)
  • Buffalo Bill Center of the West (WY)
  • Circus World Museum (WI)
  • Enoch Pratt Free Library (MD)
  • Film-Makers' Cooperative (NY)
  • Folkstreams (VA)
  • Frelinghuysen Morris House & Studio (MA)
  • George Eastman Museum (NY)
  • Harvard Film Archive (MA)
  • Hoover Institution Archives (CA)
  • Illinois State University (IL)
  • James Blue Alliance (OR)
  • Keene State College (NH)
  • Metro Theater Center Foundation (CA)
  • Milan ’54 Hoosiers Museum (IN)
  • Minnesota Military Museum (MN)
  • Montana Historical Society (MT)
  • Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium (FL)
  • Nashville Public Library (TN)
  • New York Public Library (NY)
  • North Carolina State Archives (NC)
  • Northwest Chicago Film Society (IL)
  • UCLA Film & Television Archive (CA)
  • University of Alaska Fairbanks (AK)
  • University of Cincinnati Libraries (OH)
  • University of Oregon (OR)
  • University of South Carolina, Moving Image Research Collections (SC)
  • University of Southern California, Moving Image Archive (CA)
  • University of Washington Libraries (WA)
  • Washington University in St. Louis (MO)
  • Wisconsin Center for Film & Theater Research (WI)
  • Yale Film Study Center (CT)

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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