Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Silents Gold Mine From Down Under; New York Times, 9/20/13

Dave Kehr, New York Times; A Silents Gold Mine From Down Under: "These films, along with many more (176 in all) that are still in the cataloging and preservation pipeline, were quietly residing in the New Zealand Film Archive when Brian Meacham, an archivist for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, dropped by its Wellington headquarters during a vacation. He was confronted with a trove of nitrate prints of non-New Zealand titles that the young institution had yet to preserve (understandably, the New Zealanders were focused on their own national cinema)...Responsibility for repatriating the American films was assumed by the National Film Preservation Foundation, the nonprofit, charitable affiliate of the Library of Congress’s National Film Preservation Board. (I am a member of the board, and have served on grant panels for the foundation, though none related to this project.) With support from several public and private institutions, including the Hollywood studios that retained copyright to some of the titles, the films are being preserved by the foundation’s five archival partners: the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; George Eastman House; the Library of Congress; the Museum of Modern Art; and the University of California, Los Angeles, Film & Television Archive."

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