2013 William O'Farrell Fellowship Awarded

Submitted by David

Northeast Historic Film (NHF) is pleased to announce the 2013 award of the William O’Farrell Fellowship to Graeme Richard Spurr, a postgraduate student in Film and Television Studies at the University of Glasgow. The Fellowship provides a stipend of $1,500 to support research at NHF, a regional moving image archive established in 1986.  Spurr's research project is titled The "Vexed Question of Video": Charting Transatlantic Amateur Media Practice. 
This research is related to Mr. Spurr's ongoing PhD thesis Post-Film/Amateur Video: The Diffusion of New Media in the UK Amateur Cine Movement which explores the aftermath of the amateur cinematography boom of the late 50s against the advent of magnetic recording technology in the social world of cine clubs and film hobbyists. His work at NHF will explore the potential for international comparisons via the Northeast Historic Film archive collections. "My research project aims to look at changes in the US amateur market and, ultimately, compare them with Europe," says Mr. Spurr. "Through an investigation of NHF's collection I will begin to create an international project comparing sources, collections and moving image material from the UK and the USA. Questions of changing practice, creativity and leisure will be at the centre of this research. Collections such as the Paul Lalumier Collection, the Myron Tupa Collection, the Huey Collection, the Machias High School Collection and the Archie Stewart Collection have all been provisionally selected as potential sites of interest. These collections all, importantly, start as film and then branch onto magnetic recording. Collections like that of Archie Stewart (1902-1998) remain relatively hidden from wider histories but the material presents a unique opportunity to examine the status of amateur cinematography and the impact of video technology in the USA."
Since our founding in 1986 Northeast Historic Film has depended on home movies to play a leading role in documenting the region. That focus has enabled it to build one of the largest home movie collections in the United States. "We have collected this resource to help document and understand the people, communities and activities of the region. I look forward to the results of Graeme's research on NHF Collections and what it can tell us about how the transition to video impacted filmmakers in this country."
The William O'Farrell Fellowship is awarded to an individual engaged in research toward a publication, production, or presentation based on moving image history and culture. The award honors the legacy of Canadian film archivist William S. O’Farrell, an advocate for amateur and nontheatrical film collections. O’Farrell was a valued supporter of NHF and an unparalleled mentor and friend. The 2014 William O’Farrell Fellowship competition will be announced in the fall, with applications accepted through mid-January 2014. For more information, contact David S. Weiss, NHF Executive Director, at david@oldfilm.org
Northeast Historic Film (NHF) collects, preserves, and makes accessible the moving image history of northern New England. The nonprofit organization runs a community cinema in the 1916 Alamo Theatre, and stores thousands of hours of videotape and more than 10 million feet of film in a cold storage vault. For more information, visit us at www.oldfilm.org.