Archive for Uncategorized

Preserving  Los Sures

Chair of the Film Advocacy Task Force, Elena Rossi-Snook, discussing film-based access in the context of the original surviving print of  Los Sures

Courtesy Christopher Allen and UnionDocs

Los Sures  (Dir. Diego Echeverria) is a powerful 1984 portrayal of a Brooklyn neighbourhood grappling with the social and economic challenges presented by high crime rates, violence, racial tension, dereliction and deprivation. Determined to overcome this, however, is a community rich in culture and creativity.

30 years on, this notable film has been preserved by the New York Public Library using an original print in its circulating 16mm film collection. Film-to-film preservation was done by Colorlab from the original 16mm print and resulted in the creation of a new preservation negatives and a 16mm access print which is available to the public.

As a tangible, durable record of its time, Los Sures  has further provided the foundation for an updated documentary project, Living Los Sures, by locally-based UnionDocs. This Multi-Author Place, Media, and Art Project (MAAP) uses UnionDoc’s expansive documentary approach embracing film / video, radio, photography, performance, interactive and locative media to bring the story into the present and to promote new forms of community engagement and discovery.

UnionDocs utilised the New York Public Library’s original 16mm print to remaster the work on digital video for the Living Los Sures project.

This kind of multi-purpose institutional and community collaboration is a perfect demonstration of the ongoing relevance of and argument for film conservation and preservation: by conserving the original print – keeping it in cold storage, employing careful handling when projected – the film was available, 30 years after production, for transfer to both new film elements and to contemporary digital video formats. It is therefore now available equally as an online interactive community outreach exercise and as a projected-film experience.

Preserved by the Reserve Film and Video Collection of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

Living Los Sures – Facebook

Living Los Sures – Transmediatic

> PDF Version of this Article

UNESCO World Day for Audiovisual Heritage: Choices & Rights

“Saving Our Heritage for the Next Generation”
is the slogan of this year’s celebration of the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage (27 October). The world’s audiovisual heritage of sound recordings and moving images are extremely vulnerable as a result of factors ranging from neglect, natural decay to technological obsolescence, as well as deliberate destruction. Consequently, UNESCO has made it part of its mission to raise public consciousness of the importance of preservation of these recordings through the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage.

(From UNESCO World Day for Audiovisual Heritage)

It is of the utmost importance that filmmakers around the world continue to have the ability to choose the mediums and technologies that best support the preservation of their works into the future. Well-tested and proven technologies that facilitate this goal must continue to remain available.

UNESCO World Day for Audiovisual Heritage on October 27th, 2013 is an opportune time to highlight the critical importance of maintaining choice in how audiovisual works are preserved and presented, framed in terms relevant to the artistic rights of filmmakers.

Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 guarantees the Right to Freedom of Expression for all and underpins the right of filmmakers to choose the mediums by which they communicate their ideas through their works. This extends from production and postproduction, through exhibition and into preservation.

Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

It follows that attempts to limit choice of medium, to restrict diversity, and to narrow options in this area are not only culturally damaging and unjust – they contravene fundamental human rights.

UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity 2001

UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage 2003

UNESCO Convention On The Protection And Promotion Of The Diversity Of Cultural Expressions 2005

UN Photo / Elspeth MacDougall

> PDF Version of this Article

NY Times Tips on Archiving Family History

Bertram Lyons, an archivist at the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress and Editor of the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives, offered tips to New York Times readers looking to preserve their 8mm, 16mm, and 35mm films, slides and photos. In addition to the wealth of current knowledge and resources he offers, Lyons warns readers to be proactive in preserving their originals, arguing that film is the most immediate and lasting format for preserving their family history.

“Film is a wonderful medium because it does not hide its encoded information from the naked eye. With light and a magnifying glass, a human does not need a machine to interpret the images captured on the film. Many other recorded media, especially video, analog audio formats and any digital formats, require an intermediary machine for human consumption. My point here is that you should be thinking about both physical preservation and reformatting. Sure, you will want viewable copies of your films for now and the future, but you will also want to think about the best methods for preserving the physical film for the future as well.”

The complete article can be found here.

Send Us Your Cinemas!



The Film Advocacy Task Force is dedicated to ensuring the continued survival and public exhibition of film materials… but we need your help!

There are simply too many theaters, both corporate and independent, projecting film in this world for us to know about all of them, but we’d like to make a concerted effort to try.  Tell us about your favorite film-projecting venue(s) and we’ll add them to our databases and get them the resources they need to continue projecting film in the future.

Information is key here, so a link to their website or Facebook is more helpful than a business name and a town… but we’ll take what we can get.

Help us keep films on the big screen!  Send us your cinemas!

The Project Film Survey is LIVE!

The Film Advocacy Task Force of the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) supports theaters choosing to sustain film projection alongside digital cinema by connecting them with experts and resources. Project Film is an educational film series that will address the needs of film exhibitors as they navigate digital convergence, with practical information on securing prints and maintaining equipment. We’re in the pre-production phase and would love to hear from you- your responses to this short survey will help guide Project Film!

Give film a chance!  Take the survey today!