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Film Archivists Preserve Accounts of What COVID-19 Has Wrought

posted June 12, 2020

How is the Covid-19 pandemic disrupting film archivists and archives? Christopher Dupin, who as Senior Administrator runs the day-to-day operations of the International Federation of Film Archivists, wants to know: “Being an historian, myself, I always think about the future and what we want historians in 20 or 30 years to remember about this."

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Any Day is a Good Day for Smelling Movies

posted May 6, 2020

Late March was to have been Tammy Burnstock’s big moment in smelling movies. Yes, smelling them. For months, the Australian filmmaker and TV producer had been preparing for the premiere of her documentary film In Glorious Smell-O-Vision!: The True Story of the Godfather of Scented Cinema. It was to have been screened along with a great deal of olfactory frolicking.

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Funding for Recordings at Risk

posted May 4, 2020

Films of American roots musicians and pioneers of atmospheric research, and as well as home movies about flying, are among many historical records that will be preserved thanks to this year’s Recordings at Risk awards from the Council on Library and Information Resources. In the seventh of its award rounds, the CLIR has granted more than $650,000 to 19 preservation projects, bringing the total projects assisted by the fund to 109.

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How Machines Restore Archival Film — or, at least, are trying to

posted March 3, 2020

Film restoration is a painstaking endeavor. It involves much careful observation of archival film, repair of any damage, and preservation from future ravages of time. The tools for doing all that are increasingly sophisticated. Specialists certainly can relate as much, but it may interest the general film enthusiast to hear a little about what the modern-day process of digital restoration entails.

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Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives

posted January 9, 2020

Collections relating to public-broadcasting and other audiovisual collections are among 18 projects that have been granted 2019 Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives Awards from The Council on Library and Information Resources.

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2019 National Film Registry Additions Announced

posted December 12, 2019

United States Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden has announced the annual addition of influential American motion pictures to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. Twenty five films are being added for their cultural, historic, and aesthetic importance: Among them are blockbusters, documentaries, silent movies, animation, and independent films.

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How Deeply Deceptive? Dealing with the Deepfake.

posted September 10, 2019

Suddenly, the realistic but concocted moving images known as “deep fakes” are very much in the news. Those are versions of existing footage that has been jerryrigged to look very like the originals, but to convey something different, often with great plausibility. What challenges will they pose to archivists, and how ready are archivists for their onslaught? Less so than they probably should be.

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NFPF Awards Grants to 35 Institutions

posted August 23, 2019

The National Film Preservation Foundation has announced grants to 35 institutions to save 74 films. Since Congress created the NFPF in 1996, the agency has provided preservation support through grants and collaborative projects to 304 institutions to preserve 2,478 films. The preservation grants target newsreels, silent-era films, home movies, avant-garde films, and endangered independent productions that are unlikely to be preserved by commercial programs.

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Australia’s NFSA Receives Copy of Moon Landing Broadcast

posted July 2, 2019

As the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Apollo moon landing approaches, Australia’s national science agency has donated one of only three known official copies of television film footage of the event to the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia. It is the only copy held outside the United States.

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A Diva’s Amazing Grace, A Filmmaker’s Persistence

posted June 13, 2019

In January 1972, a 29-year-old Aretha Franklin, already renowned in soul behind five Grammys and 11 No. 1 singles on the Billboard charts, returned to her roots with two evenings of riveting gospel worship in the run-down New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Watts, Los Angeles. The soaring celebrations of faith became legendary moments in popular-music history. They also produced a long, confused saga of film loss and retrieval.

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