Overview

FILM ACQUISITION AND PRESERVATION COMMITTEE
Who we are

The films for preservation/restoration are selected by members of the Film Acquisition and Preservation Committee formed by the Executive Director and Co-founder of the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival Marlene Dermer; Preservation Officer of the Academy Film Archive Josef W. Lindner; Academy Film Archive Director Michael Pogorzelski; and California State University, Long Beach Professor José Sánchez-H. Their contribution to the preservation of Latino cinema includes researching, translating, and creating a new 35mm print of each film.

What have we done

The Film Acquisition and Preservation Committee was formed in 2002 when the team worked on the restoration of the Bolivian film classic Mina Alaska, by award-winning pioneer filmmaker Jorge Ruiz, which was completed in July 2002. This is the first Latin American film to be restored by the Academy Film Archive of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The films preserved/restored by the Film Acquisition and Preservation Committee have been invited to screen at film festivals in several countries, including Argentina, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Spain, and the U.S. Since 2002 the Committee has been active in preserving an average of one film per year for the collection of Latino films at the Academy Film Archive. The films preserved are available to film festivals, universities, film researchers, and the general public. In addition, the films screened at the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival are available for viewing in video format at the facilities of the Academy Film Archive by making a request prior to the day of viewing the films.

What have we achieved

Since 2002, seven films have been restored or preserved to be part of the Latino film collection at the Academy Film Archive. These films have been introduced to the public thorough the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival as well as other national and international venues. The films are also used in the curriculum of university courses and are sources for research about Latino cinema.

The film preservation of Latino cinema provided the Film Acquisition and Preservation Committee with the opportunity to collaborate with one of the most prestigious institutions in the U.S., the Smithsonian Institution. The collaborative work of restoration between the Academy Film Archive of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Film Archive, the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival, and the Film and Electronic Arts Department of California State University Long Beach brought to light the important work of award-winning Bolivian director Jorge Ruiz. On March 16, 2006 the Smithsonian Institution paid a tribute to Jorge Ruiz. The event showcased one of Ruiz’s most well known documentary films Vuelve, Sebastiana (Come Back, Sebastiana), and Ruiz was the first Latino director to be awarded the James Smithson Bicentennial Medal. The audience included a former Bolivian president, New York University faculty, anthropologists, international documentary filmmakers, and diplomats. Other recipients of this recognition include George Lucas, Robert Redford, and Steven Spielberg.

One of the goals of the Film Acquisition and Preservation Committee is to continue to bring the work of Latino filmmakers to the international community, in particular to the U.S. audience. It is hoped that this effort will bring a better understanding and appreciation of the value and contribution of Latino culture.

Collaborations with international film archives

The Film Acquisition and Preservation Committee collaborates with other international film archives on the preservation of Latino films. Some of these collaborators include the following: the Cinemateca Boliviana (Bolivian Film Archive) which collaborated on the restoration of Mina Alaska (Alaska Mine) by Jorge Ruiz; the Archivo de Cine y TV de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM Film Archive) which collaborated on the film acquisition of the Mexican film Macario by Roberto Gavaldón; the Puerto Rican Film Archive known as the Archivo de Imágenes en Movimiento del Archivo General de Puerto Rico which collaborated on the preservation of the film Dios los cria… (Façade) by Jacobo Morales, Academy Award nominee director for Lo que le pasó a Santiago (Whatever Happened to Santiago).

Film festivals and other venues

The Film Acquisition and Preservation Committee also collaborated with other film festivals, including the Iberoamerican Film Festival in Huelva, Spain which paid tribute to Jorge Ruiz by giving him the City of Huelva Award and showcased Mina Alaska and Vuelve Sebastiana; the Festival del Cine Latino Americano in Trieste in Italy; the Festival Internacional de Cine de Mar del Plata in Argentina; and the Chicago Latino Film Festival. In 2010, the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival also commemorated the work of Jorge Ruiz that has been restored and preserved . Other venues of presentations of the restored/preserved films include organizations such as the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires where filmmaker Jorge Ruiz received the honor of being nominated Guest of Honor of Buenos Aires by the Legislature of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires.

Each year the Film Acquisition and Preservation Committee also presents the films selected for preservation at California State University, Long Beach as part of the Latin American Studies Film Series, whose sponsors include the Film and Electronic Department of the College of the Arts; the Latin American Studies Program, the Romance, German, and Russian, Languages and Literatures Department, the Anthropology Department, the Chicano and Latino Studies Department, and the Sociology Department of the College of Liberal Arts; the Office of the President; the Division of Student Services; the Center for International Education; and KPFK.

Acknowledgements

The members of the Film Acquisition and Preservation Committee would like to acknowledge all the people in the film archives who contributed in many ways to the preservation and restoration of the Latino film collection at the Academy Film Archive. Our deepest appreciation goes to all the staff of each organization involved in the preservation/restoration, film festivals, student volunteers, film labs, sub-title companies, and the audiences who supported these preserved films by seeing them at a movie theater. Also, our most sincere thanks to the people and organizations who contributed financially to the preservation of the history of cinema for the benefit of future generations.