Filmmaking in the Midwest has a long history that begins in 1907 when Chicago’s Essanay Studios on Argyle Street made some of the earliest motion picture films. With the advent of 16mm film format in 1923, Chicago quickly became a center for production and distribution of educational and industrial films lasting most of the twentieth century. Chicago documentary filmmakers were among the first to work with the cinema verité style at the height of the civil rights movement in the 1950s. Midwest filmmaking continues today with many independent and avant-garde films made by Midwest artists. CFA’s collections include professional and amateur films, as well as those often-neglected cultural gems known as home movies.