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HMD Report: Burlington, Vermont 2007

HMD Report: Burlington, Vermont

HMD VT organizer Gemma Perretta’s report:

We also held the Burlington, VT HMD last Saturday. The event was hosted by Burlington College where I taught a course this summer on the history of amateur film that included a HMD internship for the students.

For Home Movie Day we held an inspection clinic from 9-12. I sat with about 10 people/couples individually and inspected their films and gave them advice. The most commonly asked question was where to have their films transferred and what to do with the films after transfer.

One of the student interns, Paul Elsasser, did his fair share of film inspection as well, while Barry Snyder, director of the film dept., manned the welcome and sign-in table. They started showing up at 8:45am and the inspection went straight till 2:30pm. 12 people/couples total had films inspected of which 3 were not projectable.

Everyone from the community was so happy to have their films inspected. There was great energy and folks were glad to be in a place and around people who care about their memories and can help them to access their films.

I had a great moment with a woman named Angele whose films were in good shape except for being held together with scotch tape. She hadn’t seen her films in 30 years and since we couldn’t put her film through a projector we gently reeled it through a viewer. Upon seeing her baby daughter (now grown with children) and her recently deceased mother she held her chest and had a little cry. It was very touching.

The screening was scheduled from 1-4. Joe Bookchin, prof. at Burlington College, was projectionist and packed in about 14 films into the non-stop 3 hours. We had at least 25 people for the screening. Highlights included:

Three 16mm reels of autumn and winter scenes shot by the Carrolls from Lake Placid, NY from the 1950s. An African photo safari during a peace corps mission in the 1960s, a fantastic student film from the 1970s spoofing a trailer for “Wild Strawberries,” and a women’s march from the 1960s (which looked intense, but showed tame without a soundtrack).

The event was a big success for the college and the community, and has already inspired more support and allocation of resources for continuing film conservation efforts at the school.

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