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Announcing Home Movie Day 2024!

Posted by April 24th, 2024

Hello everyone, and happy Solar New Year! 

The Center for Home Movies is excited to announce that this year’s “official” Home Movie Day will take place on October 19th–the customary third Saturday in October–but as we always say, “Any day can be Home Movie Day!” There were already a couple of HMDs in February and March in Japan, and we’re looking forward to hearing about everyone else’s plans.

If you are ready to submit your Home Movie Day event, you can do so with this form. You can find information about hosting or volunteering at Home Movie Day in the Host HMD section of the website. Use the hashtag #HomeMovieDay2024 and tag us on your social media posts so we can help spread the word: @centerforhomemovies (Instagram) @TheCenterforHomeMovies (Facebook). And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email us: info@centerforhomemovies.org!

We’ll also be hosting a virtual gathering in May to share resources, questions, and information. Last year marked the 20th anniversary of Home Movie Day (check out our dance party video!), and now we’re looking ahead to what the future of this beloved tradition could hold. There are still so many people and communities with home movies in need of preservation and celebration–what new ways can we find to welcome them? Bring your brunch and your ideas, big or small, wild or mild! Everyone is welcome, even if you aren’t planning a Home Movie Day this year.

Information for the May gathering is below. More dates to come – we’re planning to make this a monthly thing between now and October. 

Home Movie Day Brainstorm Brunch:

Wednesday May 8th, 9am Pacific / 12pm Eastern. Zoom meeting link

(If this time doesn’t work for you, please reach out and we’ll find another time to meet individually)

We hope to see you there!

-C., Kate, Pamela, and Saroop

The CHM board

Interview with Matthew Yang of Home Movie Day Singapore

Posted by October 28th, 2023

Back in August, CHM board member Kate Dollenmayer sat down with Matthew Yang to learn about his experience organizing the first Home Movie Day in Singapore in 2022. 

Close-up of two people in a dark room bending over a film projector
Matt Yang on the right demostrates 8mm projection

Matthew Yang is in his second year of pursuing a master of arts degree in moving image archiving and preservation at New York University. He received a bachelor of communication studies in cinema and art history from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. In 2017, he joined the Asian Film Archive as an archive officer. In that role, Matt managed numerous film restoration projects that premiered at international film festivals, such as Cannes and Rotterdam. He also designed a new canister carrier bag to assist archives employees in transporting film collections between their offices and the vault, which were several blocks apart. Matt’s goal after completing his studies is to develop a digital preservation and literacy program in Southeast Asia. 

Catch Matt this year at the NYU AMIA student chapter’s Home Movie Day in New York City on October 29th, and follow the second edition of Home Movie Day Singapore on November 18th-19th at hmdsingapore.com!

Kate: Tell me all about hosting Singapore’s first Home Movie Day.

Matt: A couple of us did it for the first time last year on August 13th and 14th, and we did it with no experience. It was the first of its kind. 

Kate: Do you remember how you first heard about HMD?

Matt: Not exactly, but I think it was just Googling about home movies, because when I first started my internship at the Asian Film Archive, we came across a home movie. It was donated to us by a family; it featured a birthday party of one of the children in the family. Because the archive does not have a policy for home movies, we didn’t know what to do with it. So I just googled, out of curiosity, if the National Archives has it in their collection policy to collect home movies. And I think while looking for that, the Center for Home Movies came up in a search, and I thought, okay, what is the Center for Home Movies? That sounds pretty interesting, that there’s a center that focuses on home movies, and I read more about what the Center does, and obviously Home Movie Day is a key thing. I realized that while it’s a U.S.-based organization, it  does international events usually in the month of November, is it?…or October? 

Kate: Usually October, but we try to encourage people to do it anytime. Actually originally, when the first official Home Movie Day was held twenty years ago, they decided they wanted to do it on August 16th – 8/16, for 8mm and 16mm. Then at some point it switched to October. But that first one was in August!

Matt: Oh, I didn’t know that, okay! But as I was saying, Home Movie Day is a global event; I thought, okay, was it ever done in Singapore? Apparently not. I asked my co-workers, have you heard of Home Movie Day? and they said yeah, of course! They are all seasoned archivists, so I guess they were aware of it… but has it been done? No. Why don’t we do it? But home movies are not really part of our collection, so it’s never been attempted because no one really collects home movies. That was five or six years ago when I was fresh out of school. So that’s how it manifested; it just stewed in my head for a long time. I was interested in home movies, and I shoot Super 8 myself, and I know other people who shoot. So at some point I followed a couple of Home Movie Day events in the region, like in Japan, on Facebook and Instagram, and I thought, very intriguing! Gathering, screening, and celebrating home movies sounded like something within my interest. I was hoping to do it as early as 2020. I have technical experience with film, I know a couple people, but then COVID hit, so I just decided to shelve it until people could come together again. When things got more normal I said, yeah, I’ll do it, and I think that extra two years gave me more time to think about it. So it’s just been stewing for a very long time. And by that time I knew I was going to move to the U.S. for school, so I thought it’s now or never, and I decided to get a few friends to organize the first event last year. So that’s how it came about.

Kate: And how did it go?

Matt: It went very well. Initially there was concern that turnout might not be very good, that people wouldn’t really respond to it, not knowing what it is. But we got a lot of help and support. I think moving images create such a visceral and emotional response in people, especially home movies. And everything we planned for materialized. The idea for the first event was two parts: one, to let people experience shooting Super 8, and the second was to screen home movies. So the plan was to let people shoot and develop, for which we got a lot of support from Kodak, and a photochemical lab in Australia called Nanolab. We approached Kodak and they generously donated Super 8 stock, Ektachrome and some black and white. 

A person crouches on the ground with a Super 8 camera at their eye; a sign in the background reads "No Blocking at All Times"

Kate: Is there a Kodak rep in Singapore?

Matt. Yep, there’s this one rep, Sally Tan, so we wrote and she said let me forward it to one of the heads in the UK; they asked for a proposal and they approved it in 24 hours.They said here’s a box of film, and we distributed two cartridges to each of eight filmmakers, and the rest was used for a workshop, shooting and developing with lomo tanks. So that was the first part. And the second part was to curate home movies shot from the 60s to the present. We curated two programs of home movies to screen and loop across the two days at the venue. So that was the main idea and it materialized… everyone was very intrigued, and it was very well attended, more than I expected. 

Kate: What was the venue?

Matt: It was at a friend’s production office, a film production company. So we just converted it, moved the furniture aside for the weekend and projected three screens. We projected the works of the eight filmmakers who shot the films. And the two other programs that we curated were a mix of home movies shot by immigrant families–mostly British families that were stationed in Singapore during the 60s–and local families that shot home movies, which is actually quite rare, due to cost and access to the technology. So we got a lot of home movies from expat families mostly.

Kate: Where did you find them, the movies you curated for the screening?

Matt: Mostly just YouTube. A lot of British families would post their home movies on Facebook groups or YouTube, like “A Day at the Swimming Club.” You mostly see British families in the British swimming clubs, shots of their cars, families in the garden. And the rest of it was word of mouth, you know, hey, Matt is organizing a screening of home movies. So throughout the filmmaking community people said, oh yeah, my family shot home movies, I haven’t seen them since then… you have a projector? Great!…so it was just word of mouth and the internet. 

Kate: Any surprises or highlights from the films you saw?

Matt: Mostly old landscapes of Singapore. You know, Singapore is a country that’s always in flux. Buildings come and go. There’s always a need to refurbish and renew. Through the footage we saw a lot of parts of Singapore before it was developed, how it was up through post-independence. Because Singapore only became independent in the 60s. So it’s such a huge contrast looking at evidence of some of these places before modernization. For me, at least, a young Singaporean, I thought oh wow, so this is how it looked. 

Kate: The films that were commissioned from the filmmakers, did you give them any kind of prompt? Was the idea that they would make home movies? I’m curious what you think of the home movie form, is that a modern form that people can still make? Or was it more artistic films? 

Matt: The only prompt was “home movie,” and I told them what Home Movie Day is about. That was it. So it was pretty open, just take the film, shoot something. These eight people were friends, filmmaker friends. Because we were passing my camera around, I wanted to make sure they could handle the camera and the light meter, and the rest was just, “I leave it to you.” So the results were both surprising and not surprising. Most if not all of them were already filmmakers, and some films were not what you would consider home movies. Two of them were experimental filmmakers so naturally they made experimental films. But I think they got the brief of “home movie”; it was just nice to see how they interpreted it. It was a mix of fiction and non-fiction. One of the filmmakers documented the exhumation of his grandfather’s grave. Because a lot of graves in Singapore were making way for redevelopment and land use. So he shot the exhumation of his grandfather’s grave and his parents’ reaction to the entire process, which is kind of like a home movie, documenting such a private moment within the family. And on the other extreme, another filmmaker did an experimental film about hair. I don’t know how to describe it… it’s just about hair. [Laughter] There were a good variety of films and interpretations of what “home movie” is. 

Kate: I think there’s a lot of overlap with amateur narratives and amateur experimental films, and those show up at Home Movie Day too and are fun to watch in that context. What about you, what kinds of films do you like to make on Super 8?

Matt: Mostly moments that I want to remember. First of all because I know how much it costs to shoot and process the film, so I’m very selective about what I document, mostly moments I want to remember, people, family, my cat… places that I think will be gone at some point in time… 

Kate: Does your family have home movies from when you were a kid, or older than that?

Matt: Yeah, but mostly just on video, not on film. I think that was a discussion of expanding Home Movie Day to include video, which is more like a technical limitation of not having the decks to play on site. We did have a projector to project film, but the discussion was to expand the scope of Home Movie Day to include both film and video. And hopefully we could have some equipment to help people watch them and possibly scan them in the future. 

Kate: Will you do it again? Is there gonna be another one?

Matt: After doing it I realized how much work goes into an event. I think the [CHM] website says somewhere, “we first have to warn you that it’s a lot of work,” and I can confirm that. [Laughter] I’ll be in the U.S. until sometime next year. But fortunately a couple of folks who were involved last year were interested in running a next edition this year, which I’ve left completely to them. So yeah, there will be an event this year [insert link], and hopefully we can run it consistently. I think the biggest issue is resources, funding. How do we find funding, how do we build a team? Because it’s a lot of work for one or two people, how do we build a team to do it consistently and without having to dip into our own pockets to organize the event? So we’re thinking about how to make it more sustainable, first, and second, to involve more people to get new ideas and expand what an event like this can be like. 

A group of about 15 people pose smiling for the camera
Opening night, Home Movie Day Singapore 2022

Kate: Tell me more about the workshop.

Matt: The event was two days, the 13th and the 14th of August. The workshop was on the 13th, we shot the film, then we developed it overnight, let it dry, then we projected it on the last evening. So everything was in two days. But it was a lot of planning, testing the lomo tank, making sure we knew what we were doing, threading it, testing the chemicals, because I’ve never hand-developed film before. We asked a local still photo lab, can we use your lab, can we use your chemicals? So the success of the event was really the result of help from a lot of people and companies. 

Kate: And the Ektachrome, did you send that out?

Matt: We processed it, using E6 chemicals. The lab had all the chemicals we needed for black and white and Ektachrome. It was a lot of work, but it’s possible. Chemicals are not cheap, but it can be done.

Kate: Did any of those films get digitized?

Matt: Not yet. The prints are still sitting in my apartment. We did try to get them scanned. There is one post-production company in Singapore that has a ScanStation but they wanted to charge us a crazy fee. That is to say, the films from the workshop were not scanned (we hope to scan them at some point), but the [commissioned] filmmakers’ films were developed in Australia at Nanolab, scanned there, delivered by Google drive, we had them cut digitally, and projected digitally for the event. But the workshop stuff was entirely photochemically done. So it was a lot of ideas, a lot of planning. 

Kate: The Center for Home Movies is putting out a call for greatest hits from past or present Home Movie Days to put together a compilation for the 20th anniversary. If you wanted to contribute something, it would be great to include some films from your Home Movie Day. 

Matt: We have a lot of films; I’d be happy to send a couple. I think it would be interesting to have some contributions from Singapore. 

Kate: Home Movie Day has been going for twenty years now, and things have changed; the awareness of home movies has increased since it started. But I think there’s still a role for Home Movie Day for sure, because there are lots of home movies still out there… but I’m curious, having done a Home Movie Day, if you have thoughts about what the future of this kind of work could be? Since you had so many great ideas for Home Movie Day Singapore, what do you think the Center for Home Movies should do?

Matt: The biggest challenge for me is how you expand it beyond film. From what I understand Home Movie Day has always been centered on home movies captured on film. There has been a lot of discussion, at least within my group, of how can we expand that to broaden the definition of a home movie – could it be something shot on an iPhone? Personally for me, I shoot a lot of private moments on my phone, more than on my Super 8 camera. So I think the challenge is, how do we present home movies in a variety of formats? I think that’s something we’ve been discussing. For the last Home Movie Day I thought we have to keep things simple, so we just concentrated on home movies on 8mm film. A challenge is having the necessary equipment to play back home movies in the way they were meant to be exhibited and enjoyed or consumed. So I think for us it’s more the technology, and how at some point also some of these technologies may fail. They’re slowly aging, so how do we preserve these technologies for the future?

Kate: Are there film collectors, or were there film clubs or film societies in Singapore? Are there people around from older generations who can fix projectors, who have some of that knowledge? 

Matt: At this point, no. I’ve been asking around, but…there was one guy who was on the local version of eBay selling a lot of projectors, but I don’t think he fixes them; I think he’s just a collector. I think a lot of the expertise is still in North America and Europe. So I think it’s the biggest challenge for us: we have all these projectors, but no one knows how to maintain them or fix them, and my worry is that one day the projector we have is just gonna go kaput and won’t be able to play back. 

Kate: Any last words? 

Matt: We made a lot of swag, I did the branding, I did the social media… It was a lot of work! So whoever’s planning to do one, be prepared! But it was fun. I hope we can keep doing more. 

Four people pose with party favors and film projectors visible in the background
Home Movie Day Singapore crew

Home Movie Day 2023 

Posted by August 23rd, 2023

The “official” Home Movie Day date for 2023 will be October 21st (3rd Saturday), but as always we welcome events throughout October and beyond – any day can be Home Movie Day! We’re continuing to encourage both virtual and in-person gatherings. Visit centerforhomemovies.org/hmd/ to find out about local in-person events and view virtual programs from around the world. If you’re ready to announce your own Home Movie Day, submit your event listing here

Construction worker wearing a hard hat and filming with a 16mm Scoopic camera
Under Construction!

You may notice our website seems a bit off – unfortunately we were hacked several months ago and while we were able to restore all the site content, the navigation remains jumbled. We are working on an overhaul, but if there’s anything you’re having trouble finding in the meantime, please get in touch with us at info@centerforhomemovies.org. And stay tuned for more updates soon as Home Movie Day season gets underway! 

Center for Home Movies Collaborating with HBO Documentary on Call for American Home Videos from 12/31/99

Posted by June 23rd, 2022

The Center for Home Movies is excited to support the work of HBO Documentary Films and filmmakers Brian Becker and Marley McDonald, with whom CHM is consulting on a project to discover home videos for inclusion in an upcoming feature documentary. Read on to hear a statement from the filmmakers and find out how you can get involved.  

Video still courtesy of Brian Langley

To sign up to submit your home video, please fill out the following Google Form:  


The first feature documentary to take an in-depth look at Y2K is in production and is seeking your home video footage from December 31, 1999 – kazoos, confetti, questionable fashions, quiet nights at home, huge parties, canned food stashes, the ball drop on TV, and New Year’s kisses.

For a major, standalone scene in the film, we intend to create a montage of everyday home videos showcasing the breadth of American experience at the dawn of the 21st century. We’re interested in diverse personal experiences of the final night of the last millennium, no matter how mundane. Did you take major precautions or did you party like it’s 1999? Using your videos, our film will spend the final moments of the last millennium counting down the seconds in the basements and living rooms across America. 

Our documentary focuses on stories ranging from the global to intensely personal. Throughout the film, we investigate the means through which a technical problem transformed into a large-scale, society-wide issue. We explore the many ways that people responded to the threat of the millennium bug: from survivalists who prepared for apocalypse to computer programmers who diligently solved the problem, and every experience in between. We’re telling the story entirely through archival footage by diving into news, documentaries, movies, culture, and personal videos from the ‘90s. Through this patchwork of characters and styles, we highlight the lessons to be learned from the different methods by which Americans grappled with potential disaster. More information about the film can be found here.

We’re thrilled to collaborate with the Center for Home Movies on this mission to discover, digitize, and preserve home videos from a completely unique moment in American history. We’re welcoming all formats including MiniDV, VHS, and DVD. All respondents will receive information about home video preservation from CHM and the option to join the Home Movie Registry. Participants whose footage is selected for the final cut of the film will receive professionally digitized high-quality versions of their home videos in addition to compensation. 

The Center for Home Movies is a volunteer-run nonprofit organization whose mission is to share, preserve, and celebrate the personal moving images of diverse communities and individuals in ways that are equitable and inclusive. 

Brian Becker and Marley McDonald are archival filmmakers and first-time directors whose previous credits include MLK/FBI, Listening to Kenny G, Spaceship Earth, and O.J.: Made in America


What formats are you accepting?

We accept all video formats and can transfer almost all video formats including, but not limited to: MiniDV, Hi-8, VHS, BetaSP, S-VHS, etc.

Will you be digitizing all submissions?

Our team cannot digitize every submission, but we will attempt to digitize as many as possible. All tapes will be returned, including non-digitized tapes.

To participate, must I be willing to give permission for usage in the film?

Yes – we can only accept tapes from participants who are willing to grant us permission to use their footage in the film. If your video contains any potentially sensitive sections, we will contact you to discuss before utilizing any of this footage. Permission must be exclusive (i.e. the video cannot be posted online or shared with other productions) until the release of the film. 

Can I share before the film comes out?

We apologize, but the digitized video cannot be posted online or shared publicly until the release of the documentary. You will retain complete ownership of your footage, and after the release you may post the video to youtube/vimeo/etc. and show it to whomever you please.

If digitized, will my home video appear in the film?

We do not know the composition of our film until our editing process is finished. We cannot guarantee that your home video will appear in the finished film if selected for digitization. All featured home video-makers will receive a credit and $250.

Will you fund shipping of the tapes?

We will fund round-trip shipping via Fedex for the first 30 respondents.

What will happen to my video if selected?

Once the video is received, producers will digitize your material at one of the top digitization houses in the country. Upon completion, producers will return the tapes and will send a secure downloadable link to preservation quality, uncompressed digitized video. 

What will happen to my video if not selected?

If producers review your video and it is not selected for digitization, we will return your tapes as quickly as possible. 

How long will it take?

We expect our review and digitization process to take 3-4 months.

If you already have digitized home movies, can I submit these?

Yes, we’d love to see these!

Is any non-12/31 Y2K-related material helpful to your project?

We are primarily interested in footage from 12/31, but if you have great additional footage relating to Y2K, please e-mail Y2K@hboprod.com 

When will the film come out?

The documentary will be released in 2023.

What is the deadline for submitting videos?

We hope to receive these ASAP, but we’ll accept submissions until 9/2/22.

Any other questions?

E-mail us at Y2K@hboprod.com

To sign up to submit your home video, please fill out the following Google Form:  


Meet Our New Board Members!

Posted by February 15th, 2022

Warm greetings for the new year from the Center for Home Movies! The past two years have been especially difficult ones for so many people all over the world, but we are grateful for the window onto both our collective past and the possibilities for brighter days ahead that the new year can open, and we hope you are feeling this too.

Speaking of possibilities, we are thrilled to kick off 2022 by announcing the addition of two new members to our Board of Directors: C. Díaz and Justin D. Williams. Justin and C. bring unique and invaluable perspectives to CHM, each in their own way, combining creative media-making and education with a participatory approach to archiving and preservation rooted in their local communities of Chicago and Texas’s Rio Grande Valley. We are so happy to welcome them to CHM and to introduce them to you!

C. Díaz

C. Díaz is an artist and archivist from the Rio Grande Valley, Texas. Working primarily with film and video, their work explores the relationship between our cerebral landscapes and the natural environment. As an archivist, C.’s current focus is on the collection and preservation of home movies and oral histories from the Rio Grande Valley region. In 2021, they co-founded ENTRE, an artist-run film center and regional archive in the RGV. ENTRE’s mission is to provide access, support, and resources for the community to make films, and document and archive their experience of life in the Valley. Since 2014, C. has been working as a film colorist on various projects such as feature and short films, music videos, commercials, documentaries, and art installations. Their color work has been exhibited in various festivals and art shows such as Locarno, Berlinale, The Shed, and The Hammer Museum. C.’s color remastering experience spans feature film restorations to small gauge home movies and amateur films. They have facilitated workshops and webinars on color correction and color remastering for the Echo Park Film Center and the Association of Moving Image Archivists.

Justin D. Williams

Justin D. Williams is a steward of culture and memory and a facilitator of multimedia projects that study personal and communal narratives in order to preserve and elevate their importance in our society. He is the Project Archivist & Manager of the South Side Home Movie Project (SSHMP). Prior to joining SSHMP he designed and led the Digital Storytelling Initiative on behalf of the Logan Center for the Arts, where he designed and co-founded the Production Institute, a program that trains South Side filmmakers in the essential tools and skills needed to tell their stories. Justin has also worked for award-winning companies Kartemquin Films, StoryCorps, City Bureau, and has partnered with dozens of organizations to design and produce digital storytelling projects.

Home Movie Day 2021 Planning is Underway!

Posted by August 30th, 2021

Hand-drawn image featuring the text "Home Movie Day 2021" next to two frames of 16mm film featuring a computer desk with an empty chair and sleeping dog. Drawing by Chris Cohen.
Drawing by Chris Cohen

The “official” Home Movie Day date for 2021 is Saturday, October 16th, but like last year we welcome events throughout October and beyond – any day can be Home Movie Day! With the continuing global COVID-19 pandemic, we expect many virtual events again this year, but also look forward to the return of some in-person or hybrid gatherings when and where they are safe.

We witnessed an incredible amount of innovation and dedication from Home Movie Day hosts around the world last year and the Center for Home Movies encourages both new and returning hosts to look to these examples for inspiration in planning your 2021 events. HMD events were held in over 40 locations in 2020, from Tokyo to Bogotá to Bucksport, Maine and Los Angeles, California. A successful outdoor, socially distanced in-person Home Movie Day took place in Providence, Rhode Island, and a wide array of virtual programs were held, including small gatherings over zoom with live commentary heard over the films – for the closest approximation of the communal feeling of an in-person event – to curated and pre-recorded programs that were made available on Vimeo and Youtube for the entire month of October. Events in Los Angeles and San Francisco successfully merged the best of both in-person and virtual events by offering pre-curated home movie finds on twitch and youtube and engaging the virtual audience with commentary, questions, and even bingo over the accompanying chat feature of each platform. 

We expect to see equal amounts of innovation and creativity this time around from our group of dedicated volunteer hosts. The Elmont Memorial Library in New York, embracing the motto that every day is home movie day has a virtual event planned on September 14th, “National Film Registry Home Movies & Independent Films”, as part of a series on the National Film Registry that will feature commentary from current CHM board member CK Ming.

For any hosts looking for advice on how to get started, we encourage you to check out the “How-to Home Movie Day” resources on the CHM website and to sign up for the Home Movie Day google group! For in-person events, all of the great resources from years past are still available in the About Home Movie Day and Host Home Movie Day sections. Please sign up for the google group for details on Home Movie day office hours, or email info@centerforhomemovies.org if you have any questions. Happy planning!