The Film Foundation: 20 Years of Preservation

The Red Shoes, 1948

In many respects, The Film Foundation is more than just the leader in film preservation. It IS film preservation.

There isn’t an organization out there that has been more instrumental in raising awareness and support for film preservation than The Foundation. For the past twenty years, the non-profit spearheaded by Martin Scorsese and a roster of distinguished colleagues,  has forged partnerships with the world’s most important film archives and has funded the restoration of well over 500 films. The Library of Congress, BFI, Cineteca di Bologna, UCLA Film & TV Archive and the Academy are among the archives that have contributed to the Foundation’s tireless rescue and restoration of both American and World cinema treasures—pieces of history that would have otherwise been lost forever.

“Movies touch our hearts,” says Scorsese. “[They] awaken our vision and change the way we see things. They take us to other places. They open doors and minds. Movies are the memories of our lifetime. We need to keep them alive.”

And not just keep them alive, but promote the awareness of their inescapable and incalculable importance. “Films are both works of art and cultural and historical documents, representing the collective memories and dreams of the twentieth century,” says the Foundation. “Many Americans are not aware that these valuable artifacts of America’s cultural heritage are highly unstable and vulnerable to deterioration. “

To help bring awareness to this issue, The Foundation  launched a truly one-of-a-kind educational program called The Story of Movies which provides educators with a curriculum to teach middle-school students how to understand the significance of film in a cultural, artistic and historical sense, and how to interpret its visual language.

In celebration of the Foundation’s 20th anniversary, LACMA is presenting a retrospective of restored Foundation films throughout the month of October.

The Film Foundation’s race against time has certainly paid off and among the films slated to be screened at the LACMA are John Stahl’s Leave Her to Heaven, Michael Powell’s The Red Shoes, Satayajit Ray’s Pather Panchali, Luchino Visconti’s Senso, Joseph Mankiewicz’s The Barefoot Contessa, Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt, Otto Preminger’s Bonjour Tristesse and Elia Kazan’s Wild River and Baby Doll.

We urge to you make every effort to attend and support this event. A full program schedule and ticket information can be found on the LACMA website.

And also please check out this very informative short film about The Foundation.

Shadow of a Doubt, 1943
Wild River, 1960
Baby Doll, 1960 (copyright BFI Archives. All Rights Reserved.)
Leave Her to Heaven, 1945 (Copyright BFI Archives. All Rights Reserved.)
Pather Panchali, 1955 (Copyright BFI Archives. All Rights Reserved.)
Bonjour Tristesse, 1958

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Film writer and social media marketing professional. 2019 Social Ambassador for the 10th Annual TCM Classic Film Festival. Previously: social media associate at Warner Archive and script writer for Turner Classic Movies. Working on a Montgomery Clift biography due late 2020.

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