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Eastman’s South Asian Treasure Trove

posted November 6, 2020

Thanks to a substantial grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the George Eastman Museum is hard at work restoring an unusual collection of films from South Asia. The grant was made through the IMLS Museums for America grant program. Eastman is using it to restore 1,285 Indian and Pakistani film prints. Archivists there believe their collection to be largest of its kind outside India.

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47 Orphan Films To Be Preserved with Federal Grants

posted October 1, 2020

The National Film Preservation Foundation has announced annual grants to U.S. 34 institutions to allow them to preserve 47 “orphan” films from their collections. (“Orphan film” is defined as a film in any form that has been abandoned by its owner or caretaker.) Since 1998 the NFPF has provided preservation resources to 315 organizations in all 50 American states as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to help save 2,547 films.

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The Total Television Guerrillas Who Upturned Conventions

posted September 30, 2020

There once was a time when cellphones didn’t capture just about everything that happens in public. Until the 1970s, filming for broadcast was generally constrained, for starters, by the size and weight of cameras. TV cameras and their tape setups, shackled to power sources, were the size of half a car. Then along came the Sony Portapak video camera, and the pioneers of "guerrilla tv."

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Digitizing the First Days of Public Access Television

posted September 2, 2020

Public access to free-to-air and cable television resulted from a lot of activism by pioneers in the face of many obstacles. From 1971, the plucky New York state collective, Portable Channel, created some of the earliest citizen-made documentary television in the United States. Now Visual Studies Workshop, based in Rochester, NY, is digitizing and making available hundreds of video tapes created by members of Portable Channel.

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A Home Movie Day Unlike the Others

posted August 17, 2020

Home Movie Day won’t be quite the same, this year. But as sometimes happens, restrictions — in this case, imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic — will force changes that may turn out to be fruitful innovations. In 2020, Home Movie Day goes virtual, and with that the local becomes global.

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Israel Film Archive Wants All Israeli Film

posted August 12, 2020

The Israel Film Archive wants your home movies, whether you’re within Israel or anywhere in the Jewish diaspora. But collecting home movies is just part of a larger project of Russo Meir and his colleagues at the Archive. As the Archive is the official institute responsible for the collection and preservation of Israeli films, they want to be able to provide original reels or digital copies of every film ever made in the country.

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George Eastman Museum Offers Films from its Collection, Free

posted August 6, 2020

The George Eastman Museum is providing free online access to a selection of digitized films from its moving image collection. So far, it has released 23 digitized films for general viewing. Films by groundbreaking documentary maker Leo Hurwitz are among selections from the Eastman collection that you can now watch on the museum’s website.

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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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