Home movies are increasingly being recognized for their artistic, cultural and historical value. According to filmmaker Ken Burns, “Home movies are, like snapshots, the DNA of our collective memory, the first inkling of history.”
Home movies from the Library of Congress collection and screenings of films brought by the public will be featured at the fifth annual Washington D.C. Home Movie Day to be held from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 11
, in the Pickford Theater, 3rd floor of the Library’s James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.
Sponsored by the Moving Image Section of the Library’s Motion Picture, Broadcast and Recorded Sound (MBRS) Division, the event is free and open to the public.
Library film experts and other local archivists will be on hand to help attendees learn how to rescue their home 8mm, Super 8mm and 16mm films. Participants may bring an unlimited number of films to the event. However, depending on the number of attendees, only one or two of their films may be screened. Damaged films cannot be screened, but participants whose films are at risk will learn more about how to rescue these precious images.
“The Library is pleased to support Home Movie Day,” said Mike Mashon, head of the Moving Image Section. “Home movies are a valuable record of the everyday experience and a wonderful, if too often overlooked, chronicle of American culture.”
The Library actively preserves home movies as part of the national collection. 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, which now includes several home movies.
The Library’s newly constructed Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation (www.loc.gov/avconservation/packard
) in Culpeper, Va., is under the purview of the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division. This privately-funded 415,000-square-foot facility consolidates in one location audio-visual collections from across four states and the District of Columbia, and greatly enhances efforts to preserve and make accessible the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of moving images and sound recordings.
Home Movie Day is a worldwide celebration of amateur film and filmmaking held annually on the second Saturday in August at many local venues worldwide. It provides an opportunity for individuals and families to learn more about their own family movies and how to care for them, and to demonstrate how these films have captured the events of the 20th century. For more information, visit www.homemovieday.com