vibramycin 500

Editor’s Choice

Selected projects/artworks using amateur films (footage)

  • Research on Amateur Cinema/media in China by Kiki Tianqi Yu, Associate Professor in Cinema Studies, Institute of Cultural and Creative Industry, Shanghai.

“Camera activism in contemporary People’s Republic of China: provocative documentation, first person confrontation, and collective force…” in Studies in Documentary Film, 2015

“Towards a communicative practice: First person filmmaking in twenty-first century China.” In China’s iGeneration: Cinema and Moving Image Culture for Twenty-first Century, edited by Matthew D.Johnson, Keith B. Wagner, Tianqi Yu, Luke Vulpiani, Bloomsbury, 2014

China’s iGeneration: Cinema and Moving Image Culture for 21st Centuryedited by Tianqi Yu, Matthew D.Johnson, Keith B. Wagner, Luke Vulpiani, Bloomsbury, 2014 

“An Inward Gaze at Home: Amateur documentary Filmmaking in contemporary China” In Amateur Filmmaking: The Home Movie, the Archive, the Web, edited by Monahan Barry, Laura Rascaroli and Gwenda Young, Bloomsbury, 2014

  • ACSN is pleased to announce the publication ofPersonal films in the Digital Space’, a guest-edited special issue (New Cinemas: Journal of Contemporary Film, Vol. 11, Issue 2-3). This volume was prompted by the need to sample some of the themes, methodologies and critical developments currently explored in the field of amateur cinema/media studies and digital humanities. In choosing the term ‘personal film’ it has become possible to address the variegated film/visual sub-genres that constitute the current research corpus of amateur media studies. As a result, the articles selected for this issue address in a wide-ranging and cross-disciplinary framework constructions of private and/or public memory across 8mm home movies, video and digital amateur films, Skype and YouTube recordings, and experimental films. As a guest editor, and on behalf of ACSN, Annamaria Motrescu-Mayes has invited the contributors to reflect on how personal films function as visual agents of private, national and global intimacies in the digital space of online archives and social networks, and to explore questions of research methodologies, archival practices, audience reception, self-reflexivity and cultural heritage. Please see below for additional information about this special issue:

Annamaria Motrescu-Mayes

Video-making, Harlem Shaking: Theorizing the interactive amateur.
Abigail Keating.,id=17975

Impossible family portraits: Users, new media technologies and the writing of amateur media history.
Susan Aasman,id=17968

Close to home: Privatization and personalization of militarized death in Israeli home videos.
Laliv Melamed,id=17969

Of national ‘Significance’: Politicizing the home movies of the US National Film Registry.
Daniel Mauro,id=17970

Ayisha Abraham’s Straight 8.
Lalitha Gopalan,id=17971

From the roof top into the mine.
Ayisha Abraham,id=17972

How to keep our memories safe: ‘Changing platforms of ritualized memory practices. The cultural dynamics of home movies’ project, 2012–2015.
Susan Aasman

Subscribe to the current volume, Volume: 11,id=129/view,page=1


Escuela Audiovisual Infantil‘ (Colombia) is a unique open-house educational and media project for children (8-16yrs old) who are encouraged to make (amateur) films based on their own stories. For more information see the project’s Facebook page and a detailed article and interview here.

Staging the Amateur Dispositif’ – Home movies project ‘performs’ media archeological experiment at upcoming International Orphan Films Symposium.
On March 31st, the research-team of the project ‘Changing Platforms of Ritualized Memory Practices. The Cultural Dynamics of Home Movies’ will be giving a special presentation at the 9th edition of the International Orphan Film Symposium, held from March 30-April 2 in the EYE Film Institute, Amsterdam. In the presentation Andreas Fickers, Jo Wachelder, Susan Aasman, Tom Slootweg and Tim van der Heijden will collectively perform a media archaeological experiment in which they reconstruct the changing dispositif of home movie screening practices. In three ‘tableaux’ it will be explored how past media usages of film, video, and new media have altered the practices of home movie staging. The experiment is based on the project’s research which aims to trace how changing technologies of memory production have shaped new practices and rituals of memory staging. For more information about the concept of ‘experimental media archaeology’, see Andreas Fickers’ recent publication called ‘Experimental Media Archeology: A Plea for New Directions’ (2014). Watch the promo of the event’s performance here. For more information about the event, see the project’s weblog.

From Gulf to Gulf to Gulf‘ (dir. Shaina Anand, Ashok Sukumaran, IN, 2013)
“A film based on actual events, and videos of actual events.’ Four years ago the Indian artists’ collective CAMP started to work with the boats that crisscross the Arabian Sea from the Gulf of Kutch between India and Pakistan to the Persian Gulf. This film draws from these years of dialogue, friendship and video exchange with sailors, most of whom are from Gujarat in India, Southern Iran and Pakistan. Rather than directing, the filmmakers act as editors, deftly compiling from the sailors’ mobile phone footage an authentic grassroots picture of the experiences of these usually invisible sea workers. But, with the impressive wooden boats and the joyous soundtrack (chosen by the sailors themselves), this humble material is ultimately transformed into a modern adventure on the high seas” (BFI review).
See also CAMP for additional information about this unique collaborative project that explores independent artistic and media projects.

Ongoing Research Projects

Texas Archive of the Moving Image (TAMI), founded by Dr Caroline Frick, Austin, TX. TAMI’s online archive includes alongside commercial, advertising and instructional films a large collection of home movies and amateur films. Moreover, TAMI collaborates with the Office of the Governor’s Texas Film Commission to administer the Texas Film Round-Up / Texas Moving Image Archive Program. TAMI is one of the few film archives/projects to be currently and actively involved in supporting the use of home movies and amateur films as primary educational sources for the social studies curriculum.

Private Pasts and Future Publics‘ by Daniel Mauro (University of Texas at Austin, US)
Mauro is exploring research questions such as whether home movies are ‘truly “representative” of the everyday on a larger scale?’ and  ‘Do curators/filmmakers/scholars/etc. have the goal of making these films representative, or, is it the context of their selection that necessarily positions them on a representative scale?’. For ongoing feedback relating to this project see the respective in media res webpage.

Ephemeral Films: National Socialism in Austria
Among the goals of the project are the preservation, scientific exploration and analysis of a unique collection of “ephemeral” films on National Socialism in Austria. The group includes more than fifty films, largely unknown and in need of restoration, which relate to the rise of the NSDAP since 1932, Austria’s “annexation” in 1938, the war period from 1941-42 as well as Jewish everyday life before the expulsion and the Holocaust. These documents – mostly amateur films, but also “Kulturfilme” and other types of sponsored films – derive from the collections of the Austrian Film Museum and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC. The two institutions have, in 2011, begun to intensify their collaboration in this field. During the course of the project, the preserved films will be contextualized and made accessible to a broader public in order to complement and correct a discourse which has been dominated to an extreme degree by the imagery of propaganda film.



20th October – the 10th HOME MOVIE DAY. Highlights:

Vienna: event hosted by the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute and the Austrian Filmmuseum.

Amsterdam: Special Home Movie Day events at EYE

Tokyo: 最新のお知らせ

– Canary Islands: at the Filmoteca Canaria

– Los Angeles:  Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre

Bologna: organised by Home Movies-Archivio Nazionale del Film di Famiglia

Paris: ‘L’inversible’, at Café L’affiche de L’Espace Saint-Michel (Paris, 5e)

– Vasa(FI):Biblioteksgatan 13, Vasa.

Berlin: Zillestr. 9,(Charlottenburg)


News from the Archives

September 2012: ‘Pageant of Ashdown Forest 1929′, film belonging to the Nightingale Family Collection held by Screen Archive South East, shows Christopher Robin Milne dressed as Winnie-the-Pooh character ’Christopher Robin’ alongside children dressed as Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger and Kanga.

September 2012: Farming at Gifford, 1953. Scottish Screen Archive.

August 2012: Lance House Collection, Screen Archive South East, University of Brighton.

August 2012: Amateur films of Mexico, 1935-1941, ‘Stefan Hirsch and Elsa Rogo papers’, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

August 2012  ‘Lever-Karst family home movies‘ collection held by the Moving Image Research Collections, University of South Carolina.

July 2012  ‘Discussion of personal film’: Several art and cultural historians have been recently invited by the Northeast Historic Film to discuss amateur film culture and to consider aesthetic intent, audiences and interpretive strategies.

July 2012  ‘Enthusiasts: archive‘– a collaborative artwork based on extensive research amongst the remnants of amateur film clubs in Poland under socialism.

See more News from the Archives

Amateur vs Independent

July 2012  Cameron Jamie’s black-and-white ‘BB’ (Super 8, 2000), the first film in his trilogy on ‘ritualized social theatrics in America’. The film is currently screened at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.

See more Amateur vs Independent

Comments are closed.

© 2012 Amateur Cinema Studies Network (ACSN)