FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Dwight Swanson, The Center for Home Movies
Phone: +1 443-630-7089
“Home Movie Day and Night” Highlights Amateur Film and Video From Every Time Zone
Since 2003, volunteers in 35 countries have gathered to host Home Movie Day, an annual event that brings together local communities for collective viewing of amateur films and videos that document the diversity of everyday life and personal histories. The Center for Home Movies helps coordinate and support scores of Home Movie Days every year, but has often wished for a more direct way to connect such events with each other, to open a moving image portal onto lived experience across borders and across cultures. That is the aim on October 27th: to travel through time and space together to watch the opening of a family-owned grocery store in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas in the 1970s, a boy toddler after his bath, having a manicure and hugging his teddy bear in Frankfurt in 1939, a band marching down the street in Malaysia in 1955, and teenagers playing on a playground in Old Crow Village, Yukon Territory in 2014.
“This project grew out of Home Movie Day, typically a local event where people bring their home movies to show to other people from their city or town,” says Home Movie Day co-founder Dwight Swanson, “but the downside is that only the people in the room get to see the films that are projected. Our hope in organizing this marathon is that people from around the globe will be able to see what home movies are like in other countries and other cultures, to see the similarities as well as differences.”
For the past year, Swanson and co-organizers Karianne Fiorini (of the Re-framing Home Movies project) and Salvi Vivancos (of Red de Cine Doméstico / Memorias Celluloides) have reached out to archives, film collectors and filmmakers, and have assembled an international team of ten curators to select material in their local time zones. The marathon will feature close to 150 films and videos from 45 archives around the world, and the list is still growing.
But there are also significant gaps. Home movies document histories that are often left out of official accounts, but their creators and inheritors may lack the equipment needed to view them, or connections to institutions with the resources to preserve them. The Center for Home Movies supports community-based archiving efforts to keep amateur media in the locales where they were created, as well as promoting communication among a worldwide network of archives that collect home movies. Home Movie Day and Night is the latest effort among ongoing projects such as the Home Movie Registry, a search engine for viewing home movies from around the world.
Beginning at noon Universal Coordinated Time on October 27th, the 24-hour home movie marathon will begin streaming on the project’s website: http://www.centerforhomemovies.org/24-hours/. While anyone can join the webcast at any point in the following 24 hours on their home computers or mobile devices, the organizers are also encouraging theaters, libraries, public access TV stations, community centers, universities, schools, museums, restaurants, or other venues to show any or all of the stream on a monitor or screen in order to make it a public event experienced by groups of people watching the films together. Most (though not all) of the films are silent, which can serve as an encouragement for viewers to have conversations about what they’re watching and even make their own live soundtracks.
About the Center for Home Movies
The Center for Home Movies (CHM) is a 501(c)3 non-profit all-volunteer organization dedicated to collecting, preserving, providing access to, and promoting understanding of home movies and amateur motion pictures. The mission of CHM is to transform the way people think about home movies by providing the means to discover, celebrate, and preserve them as cultural heritage. Learn more at www.centerforhomemovies.org
About the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage
The World Day for Audiovisual Heritage – 27 October – is a key initiative for both UNESCO and the Coordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations (CCAAA) to honor audiovisual preservation professionals and institutions that safeguard our heritage for future generations. Around the world audiovisual archives join together annually on this day to celebrate their work with events that not only highlight the vulnerability of these valuable materials, but also to celebrate the often unheralded work of the institutions that provide protection and preservation, ensuring their availability in the future. This year the theme of the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage is “Engage the Past Through Sound and Images.” Learn more at www.ccaaa.org/WDAVH2019