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2012 NFPF Avant-Garde Masters Grants Announced + Screenings

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The National Film Preservation Foundation and The Film Foundation have awarded their annualĀ Avant-Garde Masters Grants for 2012. The overall grant award, which equals $50,000, will help restore and preserve an impressive selection of classic experimental and avant-garde films from the 1950s and ’60s by five legendary underground filmmakers: Mike Kuchar, Gregory Markopoulos, Ian Hugo, Aldo Tambellini and Jud Yalkut.

This year’s grant award will be split among five different archivist organizations, each one working on a different filmmaker’s work.

Three filmmakers will have one film each preserved: The Temenos will be preserving Cycle VII of Gregory J. Markopoulos‘ epic 22-cycle film Eniaios; Anthology Film Archives will be preserving one of Mike Kuchar‘s more obscure works, Green Desire (1965); and the Trisha Brown Dance Company will be preserving Jud Yalkut’s Planes (1968), which features choreography by Trisha Brown.

Meanwhile, the Library of Congress has been awarded the opportunity to preserve the first four films of Ian Hugo: Ai-Ye (1950), Bells of Atlantis (1953), Jazz of Lights (1954) and Melodic Inversions (1958); and the Harvard Film Archive will preserve the entire “Black Films” series by Aldo Tambellini, including Black Is (1965), Black Trip #1 (1965), Black Plus X (1966), Blackout (1966), Black 67 (1967), Sunblack (1968), Black TV (1968), Black Trip #2 (1969), Moonblack (1969) and Black Spiral (1969).

Also, with 2012 being the 10th anniversary of the Avant-Garde Masters Grants, which as helped preserve 105 culturally significant films by 49 filmmakers, there will be a screening tour of many of those films.

The tour will kick off Saturday, April 21 at the Tribeca Film Festival with a screening of Rabbit’s Moon (1950-70, Kenneth Anger), Motel Capri (1986, George Kuchar), He (1967, Tom Palazzolo), Body Collage (1967, Carolee Schneemann), Doorway (1970, Larry Gottheim), Epilogue/Siam (1979, Tom Chomont), Water Ritual #1: An Urban Rite of Purification (1979, Barbara McCullough), and Prefaces (1981, Abigail Child). After the films, there will be a discussion moderated by the NFPF assistant director Jeff Lambert with filmmakers Carolee Schneemann, Abigail Child and Larry Gottheim, plus festival programmer Jon Gartenberg.

From there, the tour will continue on to the Anthology Film Archives in New York City; the Harvard Film Archive in Cambridge; Il Cinema Ritrovato festival in Bologna, Italy; the Onion City Film Festival in Chicago; the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley; the Seattle Film Festival; and the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio.

Please check the NFPF website for more specific tour information.

The National Film Preservation Foundation is a nonprofit organization created by the U.S. Congress in 1966 and has has helped save more than 1,870 films.

The Film Foundation was created in 1990 by Martin Scorsese to help protect and preserve motion picture history through partnership with leading film archives and movie studios. It has helped save over 560 films.


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  • How do you get a film preservation grant? I am a filmmaker and have 16mm and 8 and super8 films from the 1970’s that need preserved. I have shown my films in the USA, Europe and Asia, in places such as MOMA, Anthology Film Archives, Knokke-Heist Experimentl Film Festival and the Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels, Rotterdam and London International Film Festivals, Toronto (Wavelength) Film Festival/TIFF, Chicago Art Institute, Balagan/Harvard, Light Industry, Union Docs, Cinema Projects, etc.

    Do I need an institution to sponsor me for the grant? I suppose I do.
    Please give me your candid opinion on how to proceed; transferring and preserving is expensive; I have been printing some of the 16mm myself.

    Thanks for your help,

    CFitzgibbon

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