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Home Movie Day

Home Movies magazine, October 1948
Home Movies magazine, October 1948

Sigmund Freud shot some. So did Groucho Marx, Desi Arnaz, your Aunt Molly and your Dad. Home movies. Moving slices of time. Our private and public histories, part of our visual heritage, captured and imprisoned on 8mm, super 8 and 16mm film.

This week on Lost and Found Sound, The Kitchen Sisters explore lost and found film and the world of found footage, ephemeral films, and the people who make, archive and collect home movies and amateur films.

Film archivists, collectors and enthusiasts around the world have declared Saturday, August 16, "Home Movie Day" -- a day of celebration and preservation. From the American Legion in Pittsburgh to the Oddball Archive in San Francisco, from the Governor's Palace in Santa Fe to the Jazz Grotto in Aicha, Japan, Home Movie Day events are planned in 23 cities across America and in Canada, Mexico and Japan.

In libraries, art galleries, backyards and archives around the world, Home Movie Day organizers are inviting everyone to bring in their home movies to screen, to watch the films of their neighbors and other amateur filmmakers, and to meet experts who will help preserve these celluloid treasures.

The Kitchen Sisters encourage you to dig out your home movies, found footage, and amateur efforts and attend the Home Movie Day Event on Saturday, Aug. 16 nearest you. Each event will be as unique as the archivists and collectors who have come together to create them.

Event Organizers Talk about Home Movies

"Amateur home movies are important. The information contained in these little moving slices of time can inform future generations as to the way people lived, what places long ago looked like, and how we interacted as individuals in society at large." Bruce Posner, Curator, Anthology Film Archives, New York City

"I've always been fascinated by the home movies my father took -- and quickly realized that there were many other amateurs like him, offering images of the world around then. From a historical context, these images are invaluable. They capture moments that go beyond the newsreels and movies of a period." Karen Shopsowitz, Director, My Father's Camera, Toronto

"People underestimate the value and power of home movies...these millions of feet of rediscovered family films, the millions of feet of film shot by mothers and fathers, aunts, uncles and friends throughout the 20th century now make up the best record we have of daily life as it was lived during the past two or three generations. This first Home Movie Day will help remind people that those moving images captured on celluloid not only have enormous historical value, they need to be actively cared for as well." Dan Streible, Founder, Orphans Film Symposium, University of South Carolina

Produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Nikki Silva and Davia Nelson) with Laura Folger and Ben Shapiro. Mixed by Jim McKee at Earwax in San Francisco. Special thanks: Home Movie Day was produced with help from many AMIA archivists, amateur filmmakers and the public radio community around the country. We thank all who helped. First, the archivists (from East to West) including: Dwight Swanson & Karen Sheldon at Northeast Historic Film in Bucksport, Maine, Toni Treadway of Little Film in Boston, Chad Hunter and Kelli Hicks of the Eastman House in Rochester, Andrew Lampert & Katie Trainor at Anthology Archive in NYC. Greg Pierce of Orgone Cinema in Pittsburgh, Steve Davidson and the Florida Moving Image Archive, Karen Shopsowitz and the National Film Board of Canada in Toronto, Brian Graney at The Governor’s Palace in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Snowden Becker and the Japanese American Museum in Los Angeles, Stephen Parr and the San Francisco Media Archive and Oddball Film, Hannah Palin and the 911 Media Arts Center in Seattle (who brought Home Movie Day to our attention), and amateur filmmaker Sid Laverents, whose autobiography is "The First 90 Years are the Hardest." Thanks to the members of the public radio community who assisted with these interviews: independent producer Ben Shapiro; Jane Warren and Maine Public Broadcasting in Bangor; Peter Maerz and WLRN Florida; Barbara Stevenson and WDUQ Pittsburgh; Bob Carlson and Jennifer Ferro at KCRW Santa Monica; and Amy Isackson and Lost & Found Sound intern, Jonah Platt.

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