8th Orphan Film Symposium

Orphans 8: Made to Persuade

8th Orphan Film Symposium

April 11-14, 2012

Museum of the Moving Image (Astoria, NY)

The term “orphan film” refers to film in any form that has been abandoned by its owner or caretaker.

For the eighth time since 1999, the Orphan Film Symposium will present a variety of daytime and evening presentations, discussions, and screenings.

The event, hosted by New York University’s department of cinema studies and the Museum of the Moving Image, is now a biennial gathering of scholars, archivists, curators, and media artists devoted to saving, screening, and studying neglected moving images. The renovated museum houses a 264-seat theater, video galleries, and digital projection areas.

This year the event has the theme of “persuasion” and takes place at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, New York City.

Museum of the Moving Image Theater
The presentations are as varied as always – a preliminary program is online. Some of the session topics suggest the range of films that fall under the “orphan film” banner: Dollywood advertising films; 1960s computer animation; Francena Feeding the Chickens, 1905, and Muggins the Cow Horse, 1904; state “terrorism” and the press in the USIS’s News of Iran, 1954; Family Camping through Forty-eight States, 1954-1961; an archival history of maternal education films.

For devotees, many varieties of film fall under the orphan-film category – anything outside the commercial mainstream, in fact. So, the symposium takes in public-domain materials, home movies, outtakes, unreleased films, industrial and educational movies, independent documentaries, ethnographic films, newsreels, censored material, experimental pieces, silent-era productions, stock footage, found footage, medical films, kinescopes, unusual-gauge films, surveillance footage, and much else.

Registration can be made online, and space is filling up, so don’t dawdle.

Categories: Shorts

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