Wednesday, September 22, 2010

8th Annual International Home Movie Day, October 16, features screenings and film inspection

Unique "Bring-Your-Own-Films" Movie Event Spotlights Historic, Newly-Found Amateur Film Shot During WW II

On Saturday, October 16th, 2010, motion picture archivists from the Upper Valley, across the U.S. and in dozens of cities around the world will be taking time out of the vaults to help the public learn about, enjoy, and rescue the rarely-seen history found in home movies shot during the golden age of motion picture film.

Experts will be on-hand at the Howe Library at 13 South Street in Hanover, NH from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. to offer a free “film clinic” for assessing the condition of older films, information about how to care for them, and, best of all, continuous screenings of home movies brought by participants. Bring your own movies or just show up and watch history come alive.

Among the newly-found historical gems slated for screening is film shot during WW II by the late, Upper Valley resident Lt. Colonel Frederick Kenison. Archivist John Tariot at Film Video Digital in Hanover, NH is preserving these recent discoveries, copies of which are now headed to the Steven Spielberg Film and Video Archive at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C.

On the reels, rescued from a closet by Colonel Kenison's son, Frank, who now lives in White River Junction, Vermont, are shots of U.S. troops practicing beach landings at Cape Cod, pick-up softball games, giving first aid to German prisoners, liberation of a concentration camp, the view from Hitler's retreat, and shots labeled, simply, "Going Home."

Lt. Colonel Kenison was awarded the Bronze Star for distinctive service in 1944 in connection with military operations against the enemy in France, Germany and Luxembourg. His films will be an important addition to the Steven Spielberg Film and Video Archive's collections, according to archivist Lindsay Zarwell:

"The moving images captured by Lt. Col. Frederick Kenison’s lens help us to see what it was like when American troops confronted the reality of war and Nazi atrocities in the spring of 1945. His experience as a liberator is particularly important to document here, at the nation’s memorial. By preserving and providing access to this amateur film collection, we both aggressively rescue the evidence of the Holocaust and enhance the vitality of the field of Holocaust studies. We know that the footage will be a very valuable addition to the Archive, and of great interest to students of Holocaust and military history."

A worldwide event with the support of filmmakers Martin Scorsese, John Waters, and New Hampshire filmmaker Ken Burns, Home Movie Day shows how amateur movies on 8mm, Super8, and 16mm film offer a unique “you are here” view of decades past, often in gorgeous living color, and are an important part of personal, community, and cultural history.

Just imagine: movies that didn't require batteries or a computer to shoot, could be played back in any country on viewers made by any company, and stored on a format that lasts more than 100 years. On them are some of the most iconic images of our times: “Consider Abraham Zapruder's 8mm film that recorded the assassination of President Kennedy” asks legendary director and film preservation advocate Martin Scorsese.  "Home movies do not just capture the important private moments of our family's lives, but they are historical and cultural documents as well." In fact, home movies have been named to the Library of Congress's National Film Registry, alongside classics such as "Citizen Kane," "Star Wars," and "King Kong."

The 2010 Upper Valley Home Movie Day will be held at the Howe Library in Hanover NH on Saturday, October 16th and is free and open to the public. Damaged films cannot be screened, but participants whose films are at risk can learn more about how to rescue those precious images before it’s too late.

Advance submissions encouraged. 8mm, Super8 and 16mm films only- no videotape or DVDs.