A film first shown publicly at New Orleans’ 2006 Home Movie Day has been named to the National Film Registry.
Librarian of Congress James H. Billington today announced his annual selection of 25 motion pictures to be added to the National Film Registry. Among the films added this year was a documentary short entitled Think of Me First as a Person about a developmentally disabled child. The boy’s father, Dwight L. Core Sr., an amateur filmmaker and Air Force veteran of World War II, originally produced the film in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia over the course of the 1960s and 1970s, incorporating home movie footage he had shot of his son throughout his childhood and teenage years.
Under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act, each year the Librarian of Congress names 25 “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant motion pictures to the Registry. The list is designed to reflect the full breadth and diversity of America’s film heritage, thus increasing public awareness of the richness of American cinema and the need for its preservation. Previous home movies named to the list include the Zapruder Film and footage of the Topaz Japanese internment camp.
Think of Me First as a Person is a loving portrait about raising a child with Down Syndrome. The father’s narration lends a remarkable poignancy to this film, as he details his son’s birth, playful nature and eventual need to receive training in an institute far away from home.
The film was restored and completed from its original 16mm rough-cut print by the Dwight Core Sr.’s grandson, George Ingmire, who is based in New Orleans and produces both radio and film documentaries. Ingmire recently discovered the film, along with a separate narration track, while doing research for a feature length documentary about his grandfather’s work as an unknown filmmaker.