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Welcome San Francisco Movie Makers (1960)

Preserved by the San Francisco Media Archive with NFPF support.

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Now Online: Six More Films from the EYE Project

Oliver Hardy menaces Jimmy Aubrey in The Backyard (1920).
A rich mix of fiction and non-fiction films has joined the NFPF website’s screening room. All are freshly preserved products of the NFPF’s ongoing partnership with EYE Filmmuseum in Amsterdam. Unseen since their original release more than 90 years ago, these movies are accompanied by new music from acclaimed silent film accompanists Stephen Horne, Ben Model, and Michael Mortilla, and by program notes from scholars and film experts. The preservation and web presentation of the nonfiction films was made possible through a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Two comedies were preserved under the direction of the Library of Congress and are presented with notes from silent comedy historian Steve Massa. The Backyard (1920) is a Vitagraph studio comedy, featuring a pre-Laurel Oliver Hardy as the villain, set … Read more

Tags: streaming video, EYE Project, repatriation

11 Films to be Preserved Through Avant-Garde Masters Grants

Stan VanDerBeek's Skullduggery (1960)

Seven Stan VanDerBeek films from the 1950s and ’60s, a trio of acclaimed experimental visions from Marjorie Keller, and an animated cut-out film from Flora Mock will be preserved through the 2018 Avant-Garde Masters Grants, awarded by The Film Foundation and the National Film Preservation Foundation. All told, 11 films will be preserved and made available through this year’s grants.

“Stan VanDerBeek is one of the major American Avant-Garde film artists,” writes P. Adams Sitney, Professor Emeritus of Visual Arts at Princeton University and one of the most prominent writers on American experimental cinema. “He was a prophet of the emerging multimedia and a proponent of the power of those media for political satire. As soon as he began to make and exhibit films, his originality and wit were manifest. In the period between 1957 and 1965 … Read more

Tags: NFPF grants, avant-garde

24 Films Join the NFPF's Online Field Guide to Sponsored Films

Once Upon a Time (1934)

Today the NFPF adds 24 films to its Online Field Guide to Sponsored Films, a free digital screening room that presents entries from The Field Guide to Sponsored Films, written by Rick Prelinger and published by the NFPF in 2006.

These additions bring the total amount of titles to 159. All of the films were commissioned by a host of American businesses, charities, advocacy groups, and governments, and intended to promote commercial products, highlight good works, bring attention to social causes, and explain government programs.

Among the highlights are two drivers’ safety films: Last Date (1950) introduced the word “teenicide” into the English language, while the cartoon Once Upon a Time (1934) features the good fairies “Carefulness” and “Courtesy” preventing car crashes.

Another pair of films praise public libraries: Portrait of a Library (1940) profiles … Read more

Tags: sponsored film, streaming video

Celebrating the 2018 NFPF Grant Winners—And 20 Years of Grant-giving!

The National Film Preservation Foundation proudly announces that 35 films have been chosen for preservation through its federally funded grant program. The selection ranges from Street Corner Stories (1977), Warrington Hudlin’s documentary about the vernacular storytelling practices of a New Haven corner store’s African American customers, to Inquiring Nuns (1968), Gordon Quinn’s cinema-verité documentary in which a pair of nuns asks Chicagoans on the street if they are happy with their lives.

Won by a Sweet (1929)
Won by a Sweet (1929), to be preserved by Washington University with support from the NFPF.

The grants will be administered to 24 institutions spread across 16 states. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the NFPF’s annual grant program: Since 1998 the NFPF has provided preservation resources to 296 organizations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico … Read more

Tags: NFPF grants

"Soft Shoes" at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival

Starting May 30th the San Francisco Silent Film Festival will celebrate its 20th anniversary with five days of programs showcasing silent classics from around the world. The NFPF is honored to have played a part in the celebration by supporting the preservation of Soft Shoes (1925), which screens May 31 with live musical accompaniment by Donald Sosin.

"Harry Carey is willing to risk an eye as Lillian Rich adjusts her stocking" in Soft Shoes (1925). Photo and text from Exhibitor’s Trade Review, March 14, 1925.

Directed by Lloyd Ingraham and photographed by Sol Polito, Soft Shoes was part of a series of Westerns produced by Hunt Stromberg and starring Harry Carey. Set in 1925, the semi-comedic story involves small-town western sheriff Pat Halahan (Carey) visiting San Francisco and apprehending the alluring burglar Faith O’Day (Lillian Rich), who had attempted to rob his hotel room. … Read more

Tags: repatriation, San Francisco Silent Film Festival, screening, silent film

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