Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189

January 21, 1994

Librarian of Congress Appoints Film Preservation Task Forces

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington has appointed a special committee and four task forces to assist him in planning a national film preservation program.

A funding committee will assist in securing funding for preservation of films of cultural and historical value, particularly those not preserved by commercial interests. The four task forces will address preservation issues, public access and educational use, public-private cooperation, and public awareness. Composed of representatives from the motion picture industry, archives, and the educational community, these groups will work over the next five months to develop the framework for a coordinated national film preservation program. (See names below.) The National Film Preservation Act of 1992 (Public Law 102-307) directs the Librarian to analyze the current state of American film preservation and develop a coordinated national program. The goals of this program, as stated in the Act, are "(i) coordinating activities to assure that efforts of archivists and copyright owners, and others in the public and private sector, are effective and complementary; (ii) generating public awareness of and support for these activities; and (iii) increasing accessibility of films for educational purposes...."

In accordance with the Law, the Librarian submitted to Congress last June Film Preservation 1993, a four-volume study distilling testimony, written comments, and interviews from a broad spectrum of the film community (the report, order no. 030-000-00251-2, is available for $47 from the Government Printing Office, phone: 202- 783-3238; fax: 202-512-2250). This report detailed the many preservation problems facing both old and recent films. The task force members who will help develop the preservation program are drawn from the many individuals and organizations that participated in this initial fact-finding effort.

The National Film Preservation Act has provided an unparalleled opportunity for the film community to work together in preserving America's film heritage. The newly appointed groups will work closely with the National Film Preservation Board, the congressionally mandated panel that advises the Librarian of Congress about film preservation needs and recommends films for the National Film Registry at the Library of Congress. The Librarian expects to complete the national film preservation plan in summer 1994.

National Film Preservation Program

Participants in the Planning Process

National Film Preservation Board Funding Committee

Mission: Securing viable and ongoing sources of funding for preserving films of cultural and historic value, particularly those not preserved by commercial interests.

Chair: Roger Mayer (Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Turner Entertainment)

John Ptak (Creative Artists Agency; Co-chair, National Center for Film and Video Preservation at the American Film Institute)
Robert Rosen (Director, UCLA Film and Television Archive)

Task Force 1: Redefining Preservation

Mission: Re-framing physical preservation as an integrated "whole film" activity, recognizing the trade-offs of storage and film-to- film copying, examining the adequacy of electronic transfer for some films, and planning how technology will change preservation processes within the next decade.

NFPB Liaison: Allen Daviau (American Society of Cinematographers)

Peter Gardiner (Vice President, Operations, Corporate Film and Video Services, Warner Bros.)
Stephen Gong (General Manager, Pacific Film Archive)
Robert Heiber (President, Chace Productions)
William Murphy (Specialist in Audio-Visual Archives, Non-Textual Archives Division, National Archives)
James Reilly (Director, Image Permanence Institute)

Task Force 2: Public Access and Educational Use

Mission: Creating a framework for providing greater access to publicly preserved films, and for educational use of others currently inaccessible.

NFPB Liaison: John Belton (Professor, Department of English, Rutgers University)

David W. Packard (Vice President, Packard Foundation; Director, Stanford Theatre Foundation)
Richard Prelinger (President, Prelinger Associates and Director, Archival Footage Development, Home Box Office)
Karan Sheldon (Director, Public Services, Northeast Historic Film)
George Stevens Jr. (Producer, filmmaker)
James Watters (Executive Vice President, Studio Operations, Universal City Studios)

Task Force 3: Public-Private Cooperation

Mission: Developing mechanisms to coordinate public-private ventures and to facilitate communications among archives, industry and technical experts, as well as legal incentives for stimulating preservation ventures.

NFPB Liaison: Mary Lea Bandy (Director, Department of Film, Museum of Modern Art)

Members: Raffaele Donato (Executive Director, Film Foundation)
Douglas Gomery (Professor, College of Journalism, University of Maryland, College Park)
William Humphrey (Senior Vice President and General Manager, Sony Pictures Entertainment)
Scott Martin (Senior Attorney, Motion Picture Group, Paramount Pictures)
Brian O'Doherty (Director, Media Arts, National Endowment for the Arts)
Edward Richmond (Curator, UCLA Film and Television Archive)

Task Force 4: Public Awareness

Mission: Generating public awareness of and support for film preservation activities.

NFPB Liaison: Milton Shefter (President, Miljoy Enterprises)

Members: Gray Ainsworth (Director of Film Operations, Metro- Goldwyn-Mayer)
Jean Firstenberg (Director, American Film Institute)
Tom Gunning (Professor, Dept. of Radio/Television/Film, Northwestern University)
Karen Ishizuka (Curator, Photographic and Moving Image Archive, Japanese American National Museum)
Leonard Maltin (Author, Broadcast Journalist) (Corresponding Member)
Josh Sapan (President, American Movie Classics)/Jayne Wallace (Director, Public Relations, American Movie Classics)

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PR 94-016
ISSN 0731-3527

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