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Academy Boosts Film Preservation with Film-to-Film Initiative

Thompson on Hollywood By Anne Thompson & Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood May 7, 2012 at 4:55PM

In a welcome move in response to the takeover of digital technology and the reduced availability of film stock, the Academy is extending the reach of their film preservation efforts. Their $2 million Film-To-Film project will accelerate the work of their Academy Film Archive to both acquire and create new archival film masters and prints from at-risk elements, including films as recent as the 1990s.
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Douglas Fairbanks in "The Mark of Zorro" (1920)
Douglas Fairbanks in "The Mark of Zorro" (1920)

In a welcome move in response to the takeover of digital technology and the reduced availability of film stock, the Academy is extending the reach of their film preservation efforts. Their $2 million Film-To-Film project will accelerate the work of their Academy Film Archive to both acquire and create new archival film masters and prints from at-risk elements, including films as recent as the 1990s.

"This is a moment of great transition for our industry," says Academy CEO, Dawn Hudson, "and we are responding to the urgency of that moment. By increasing our preservation efforts now, we are building a vital pipeline of films and film elements that we will not only safeguard, but also make available for audiences well into the future."

Among the initiative's films to be preserved are "Sleuth" (1972; four Academy Award nominations); "The Cardinal" (1963; six nominations including Best Director and Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Otto Preminger and John Huston, respectively); and "Cock of the Air" (1932; a comedy produced by Howard Hughes prior to the advent of the Production Code Administration).

Short films to be preserved include Saul Bass’s landmark "Notes on the Popular Arts" (1977) as well as four comedy shorts made between 1933-35. Silent films include Douglas Fairbanks' "The Mark of Zorro" (1920), Mary Philbin's debut in "The Blazing Trail" (1921) and Edwin S. Porter's "A Famous Duel" (1911), as well as Documentary shorts "The Odds Against" (1966), "Naked Yoga" (1975), and the Oscar winner "Young at Heart" (1987).

Experimental works by the likes of Stan Brakhage, Will Hindle, Nina Menkes and Penelope Spheeris will be preserved, as will reels of home movies from the collections of Steve McQueen, Esther Williams, William Wyler, Sam Fuller and James Wong Howe.

Film-To-Film has also acquired a selection of 35mm prints including "42nd Street" (1933), "The Asphalt Jungle" (1950), "Barry Lyndon" (1975), "Grease" (1978) and "The Princess Bride" (1987).

More details on the initiative below:

This article is related to: Academy Awards, Oscars, News, Classics, News, Hollywood


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.