Cinephiles from around the globe will congregate this week at the beautiful Castro Theatre for the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, which celebrates its 20th anniversary with four days of silent classics and rediscoveries. Thursday's opening night showcase is the silent version of All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), introduced by our colleague Mike Mashon, Head of the Moving Image Collection at the Library of Congress. If you're wondering how this version came to exist, check out Mike’s excellent post on the Festival blog.
On Friday the NFPF joins the Pacific Film Archive in co-presenting "Amazing Tales from the Archives," a symposium from the front-line of film preservation. Among the participants will be Bryony Dixon, the British Film Institute’s Senior Curator of Silent Film, who’ll present footage concerning the RMS Lusitania, sunk 100 years ago during the First World War. Also in the program, Movette Film Transfer's Jennifer Miko will present a Technicolor tour of Hearst's Castle, led by Hearst himself. This 10am program is free and open to the public.
We're especially proud to contribute a short film to the festival, in memory of our founding Chairman Roger Mayer. Koko's Queen (1926) is a dazzlingly surreal cartoon from Fleischer Studios; its off-beat nature exemplifies the many "orphan films" whose preservation Roger championed. The world premiere of this new preservation work on 35mm occurs Monday, June 1 at 3pm, preceding The Deadlier Sex (1920). Koko's Queen is also one of the first films preserved through our ongoing repatriation partnership with EYE Filmmuseum in the Netherlands. The nitrate print was shipped to the US under the direction of the NFPF; the preservation work at Colorlab was funded and supervised by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. We hope you'll join us for this tribute to one of film preservation’s true heroes.