The Librarian has been a strong supporter of efforts to save the nation’s
film legacy. As Paula Wagner, producer of box-office hits such as “Mission
Impossible,” and “War of the Worlds,” reminded the
audience when she introduced Billington at this year’s event,
“More than half the films made in America before 1950 are lost
and gone forever. … Fortunately, James Billington and the Library
of Congress are ensuring that what we create today will be available
for generations to come, and for that, our industry owes a debt of gratitude.”
Every year since 1989, the Librarian has named 25 films to the National
Film Registry. Under the terms of the National Film Preservation
Act, each year the Librarian 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.