NHF Austin-Bound for AMIA

Submitted by Brian

In mid-November, Northeast Historic Film’s Executive Director David Weiss, Board Member and co-founder Karan Sheldon, Media Specialist Karin Carlson, and Media Cataloger Brian Graney will travel to Austin, Texas, for the Annual Conference of the Association of Moving Image Archivists.  Since 1991, AMIA has convened a diverse international community of moving image archivists, preservation professionals, students, and friends of the field for this annual forum on audiovisual preservation and access.  This year’s program offers a variety of workshops, screenings, panel sessions, and discussions, including these events of particular interest to friends of NHF:Paramount Theatre, Austin, Texas

NHF’s Karan Sheldon and Brian Graney will serve as co-chairs for the full-day PBCore Cataloging Workshop on Wednesday, November 16, at the University of Texas at Austin’s Harry Ransom Center.   Featuring PBCore experts Jack Brighton, Yvonne Ng, Dave Rice, and Kara Van Malssen, the workshop will demonstrate the value of the PBCore 2.0 metadata standard for description and management of audiovisual assets. The program is made possible through Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives: Building a New Research Environment, a program of the Council on Library and Information Resources funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with a grant to NHF for Moving Images 1938-1940: Amateur Filmmakers Record the New York World’s Fair and Its Period.

On Thursday, Audrey Young will present “Archivo Memoria: Preserving Orphan Film in Mexico.”  Following her work at Northeast Historic Film on the 2010 CLIR project Moving Images of Work Life, 1916-1960, Audrey joined the Cineteca Nacional de México as leader of Archivo Memoria, a highly visible program of preservation and access that endeavors to raise a public consciousness of the nation’s neglected images.  From Audrey’s program notes: “The project reimagines the archive as a place of creation, interpreting the archive’s activities as a way to further new knowledge and new creative projects through the reutilization of ephemeral moving images. It seeks to make the films urgent and pertinent, to return them, transmuted, to the culture from which they came.”  

Later on Thursday, AMIA’s Archival Screening Night at the Paramount Theatre will feature an excerpt of a brand new preservation work from Northeast Historic Film’s Cyrus Pinkham Collection.  Cyrus’s 1939 16mm amateur film of the New York World’s Fair was selected for preservation this year by the National Film Preservation Foundation.  Thanks to the generosity of Janice Allen of the preservation laboratory Cinema Arts, Inc., this film will be preserved and presented in 35mm.  

On Friday, several presenters from Northeast Historic Film’s 2011 Summer Film Symposium will gather again for the panel session and screening, “Fatally Flawed Film Formats,” chaired by Snowden Becker.  Dino Everett will discuss and screen the relatively unknown and rare widescreen home movie format of 4.75mm film, produced only in 1956. Marsha and Devin Orgeron will discuss and screen Kodacolor film, the lenticular color system produced for the amateur market between 1928 and 1935.

Irving Forbes CollectionNHF returns to the Paramount screen on Saturday afternoon for a presentation of Amateur Night: Home Movies from American Archives.  Dramatic, funny, poignant and even strange, Amateur Night pieces together family moments, historical scenes, animation, drama, comic routines and travelogues in a vivid demonstration of the eclectic array of entertainment, innovation and enlightenment found in home movies. The earliest home movie featured is from NHF’s Irving Forbes Collection: Alexander Forbes’s visually entrancing 1915 film of sheepherding on Naushon Island, Massachusetts.

Donald C. Brown, Jr. CollectionAlso on Saturday, “Really, What Are You Going To Do With That?: Preservation Perspectives on Unconventional Moving (and Not Moving) Images” features a presentation by Walter Forsberg on his experiences researching and contextualizing “snipes”—any films shown at a theater before the feature that are not trailers.  In 2011, Walter received the William O’Farrell Fellowship award from NHF for research focusing on the Donald C. Brown, Jr. Collection of 35mm drive-in and theatrical films, including "snipes," "tags," and "daters," collected from over a dozen cinemas in New England and West Virginia.