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July 9, 2013

CFA Films Head to the Capital

This morning we packed up three CFA films to ship off to our nations capital. They’ll take part in the National Gallery of Art’s annual showcase of film preservation from international archives and special collections. This year’s programs range from rediscovered American rarities to artists’ films and unsung shorts from the 1960s, and to major French classics celebrating their fiftieth anniversaries this season. These three CFA films (Margaret Conneely’s Chicago: City to See in ’63, the FilmGroup’s Social Confrontation: The Battle of Michigan Ave. and Don Klugman’s Nightsong) will be shown at the The City in the ’60s: Forgotten Films from American Archives program on Saturday, July 20th. Thanks to grants from the National Film Preservation Foundation (Battle of Michigan Ave., Nightsong) and Women’s Film Preservation Fund (City to See in ’63), all three of these films were photo-chemically preserved, or rather, new film prints were struck of each title (more on that, here). Ok, back to the program – here’s what the National Gallery of Art’s site has to say about it: “As recently as the last half of the twentieth century—in theaters, churches, private clubs, and especially schools, where the core curricula could always benefit from some audio-visual enhancement—the projection of 16 mm films was a regular occurrence. Thousands were produced each year on every subject imaginable. Although many 16 mm collections have now been discarded in favor of digital, there are many archives that treasure and preserve this fragile format for its historical value. In their recently published Learning with the Lights Off, Marsha Gordon and co-editors Devin Orgeron and Dan Streible examine the educational film in its endless variety—from art to music, biology to medicine, suburban sprawl to urban decay. Marsha Gordon introduces a program designed around the city in the 1960s that includes screenings of entertaining and informative films representing Washington D.C., Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago: Village SundayThree Cures for a Sick City,The Battle for Michigan AvenueFelicia, and Jim Henson’s Time Piece.” As mentioned above, the program is a presentation around the book Learning with the Lights Off. Edited by Devin Orgeron, Marsha Orgeron and Dan Streible, the book is the first collection of essays to address the phenomenon of film’s (more particularly educational and nontheatrical films) educational uses in twentieth century America. Luckily for you Washingtonians, Marsha Oregon will be on hand at the screening to discuss the films and the book. We’re super honored to take part in this screening and to share these pristine 16mm film prints with the D.C. area (we wish we could be there!). And last but not least, friendly shout outs to the other archives/institutions involved in this particular screening: Raleigh based A/V Geeks and the Reserve Film and Video Collection of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. More on the screening here.

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