Archives for

Amateur Cinema SIG, BAFTSS Conference, April 20 2022

Amateur Cinema and the histories and politics of collaborative creative practices

Chair: Annamaria Motrescu-Mayes (University of Cambridge)

  • Tom Slootweg (University of Groningen): Challenging amateur modes: Or how to deal with the variety of intent among amateur media practitioners?
  • Giuseppina Sapio (Université Jean Jaurès/LERASS): A middlebrow eye: home movies between ideological subjection and profanation
  • Graeme Spurr (University of the Arts London): Getting Down to the Frillies: Glamour, Permissiveness and Fashion in the UK Amateur Cinema Press, 1970-1980

CfP: ‘Contemporary re-use of Amateur Films #1. Stakeholders, intentionalities and reappropriation contexts’ Colloquium(Nice, France, 20-21 October 2022). Deadline for submitting proposals: 1 April 2022.

“◄ Amateur Films environment. Amateur cinema, that is to say all movies made without any intention of trade, has accompanied the “official history” of cinema, for over a century now. Major industrialists have moreover contributed significantly to support these practices, offering on the market cameras specifically designed, from the “Pathé-Baby” in 1923 to mobile phones today. The resulting images of this history are countless and contrary to common beliefs, of great diversity – in terms of production formats, but also of sociologic characteristics of these “amateurs of movies” (Vignaux & Turquety 2016). Of course, Home Movies figure prominently within these productions. But amateur filmmakers also did documentaries or fiction films (referred to as “Amateur Films” in the Anglo-Saxon scientific literature), in particular in the frame of the numerous cinema or video clubs which accompanied, from a technological and sociological point of view, the history of amateur production, and where aesthetic considerations and judgments created spaces of “aesthetic sociability” (Allard 1999).
These films were long kept in the domestic space, but since the 1980s, they were gradually collected by national or regional film archives. In France, regional archives centers (and not the National French Film Archive) assumed the responsibility of the preservation of these films. Their mission consists of collecting, indexing and promoting the amateur films. It is within this framework that, during the last fifteen years, were created digital interfaces, with an editorial treatment of the contents: an open access to this kind of films is now possible for the general public.
Made available, online, these collections, in France as all as all over the world, stimulated a lot of scientific research. Amateur cinema is considered in its historical development (Aasman 2016, Czach 2018, Nicholson 2012, Salazkina & Fibla-Guttiérez 2020, Tepperman 2015, Zimmerman 1995), or in its contemporary forms (Motrescu-Mayes & Nicholson 2019), but also as a specific enunciation context (Albera 2015, Odin 1999), a social practice, or an aesthetic phenomenon (Allard 1999, Craven 2012). Special attention was given to Home Movies (Avantaggiato 2010, Moran 2002, Odin 1995, Toussignant 2004, Ishizuka & Zimmermann 2008), even if few works refer to fiction films. Other publications question the impact of these images, in terms of representations, through the prism of regional landscapes and cultures (Ambert, Bonnardot & Cadé 2015, Génot 2003, Simoni 2019) or of an historical period (Bouyer & Dufresne 2003, Fibla-Gutierrez 2018, Guerin 2012, Guillamot 2020, Kattelle 2000, McNamara & Sheldon 2017, Porcile 1997).
◄ A research project on the reuse of amateur film
Based on this scientific environment, the LIRCES (Interdisciplinary Laboratory of Narratives, Cultures and Societies) is undertaking a research project dedicated to the contemporary reuse of these amateur images. Indeed, many artists (visual and video artists, musicians, filmmakers), historians, archivists, educators, etc., but also Internet users, outside any professional structure, work these heritage materials to create new contents, in the form of editing films (fictions, documentaries, autobiographical films, experimental and art films …), video clips, musical or visual performances (concert films, Vjing…). The new appropriation of these often-intimate images serves multiple purposes – from experimentation, aesthetic exploration, auto-ethnographic gesture, to pedagogical mediation.
Drawing on Dominique Païni’s (2013) assertion that “every archive needs something other than itself to be activated, fruitful”, the secondary elaborations of basic amateur films proceed from the invention of forms, writings, rhythms, objects that question both the filmic material and the modalities of its mediation. The reuse of archival films is not, in itself, a new phenomenon, and many research studies look at the results of these “recycling” (cf. the “cartography” produced by Brenez & Chodorov 2000), whether they take the form of “mash-ups”, found footage, remixes, collages, supercuts or visual experiments – “between remixes and avant-gardes” (Blümlinger 2013) – in the field of film and/or new media theory, as well as the history of cinema and art (Habib 2006). Nevertheless, the question of the reuse of amateur film archives is the subject of less consideration in existing works (the following works should, however, be noted: Russell 1999; Thill 2009; Criqui, Suter & Dryansky 2011; Tenório Luna 2020, and so on). Researchers favor reflections on creative gestures, which question the industrialization of forms and contents, in line with historical materialism, and which therefore draw their material from commercial formats, and especially from Hollywood cinema (Elsaesser 2016, Rees 2011…).Furthermore, the explosion of experiments, caused by the availability of amateur film archives on the Internet, constitutes a particularly stimulating context for developing research in this direction, since these new forms modify the relationship maintained with the amateur archive image, but also modify its function in archival logics, and therefore in the collective filmed heritage.
◄ Contemporary re-uses of amateur film #1: a first colloquium in Nice in October 2022
This colloquium, organized in Nice (Espace Magnan) on October 20 and 21, 2022, aims to question the multiplicity of intentionality that intersect, depending on the frames and actors involved, in this step of reuse: What are the categories of professionals who engage, regularly or occasionally, in these practices? And when these works of re-use are born from a non-professional approach, what are the stakes to which these proposals answer? What kinds of products born from these gestures and how are they valued? The answers to these questions will aim, from case studies or specific analyses, to provide the material for a first comprehensive mapping of the environment and the purposes of these creations or secondary exploitations of the amateur image.
The colloquium will welcome academics and specialists in the field, as well as professionals, archivists, or artists engaged in reuse works. The communications will last from 20 to 30 minutes. It’s also possible to propose projections or commented performances, to illustrate and show to the public a significant range of these contemporary reappropriations, in a program linked to the theme of these two days of contributions and scientific exchanges. Events will also be organized throughout the week of October 17 in some partner venues in Nice to introduce the public to the variety and richness of works based on the reuse of amateur cinema.
Proposals should be 1-2page presentation and a few bibliographical lines. They are expected before April 1, 2022, at the following address: reemploi.film.amateur@laposte.net
This colloquium is organized by LIRCES (Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Récits, Cultures et Sociétés). Since its creation, LIRCES has been involved in an inter- and transdisciplinary scientific project that brings together Psychology, Anthropology, Ethnology, Civilizations and Literature, and SIC, around a unifying theme that is narrative, and even more so, narrativity understood as the power of narration.
https://lirces.univ-cotedazur.fr/
Contacts: sophie.raimond@univ-cotedazur.fr christel.taillibert@univ-cotedazur.fr

Previously unseen 1963 [amateur] film of John F Kennedy emerges in Ireland

See Roy Caroll’s article in The Guardian, 4 August 2021.

‘Private Films in Public Spaces’ session at the Pesaro Film Festival, 25 June 2021

The ‘Private Films in Public Spaces‘ session is curated by Karianne Fiorini and Dwight Swanson.

“In the last twenty years, more or less, numerous film collectors, families, and film archives devoted to the home movie heritage of the last century have put their home movie collections (or at least part of them) online, providing them with the images and information needed to give us an idea of which kind of materials the virtual spectators are going to have access to. Curated by home movies specialists Karianne Fiorini (Italy) and Dwight Swanson (the United States), “Private Films in Public Spaces” is a program of home movies and amateur films found online, a virtual voyage around Europe, the United States, and the rest of the world, with a spotlight on two of the main characteristics of the home movie heritage’s most enlightening subjects: private lives and public events.

Talking about home movies on the Internet means diving into a mare magnum of websites, catalogs, databases, repositories, and other online resources in which you can completely lose yourself in the huge amount of film materials available online in terms of beauty, customs and traditions, social richness, geographic spaces, and the cultural peculiarities which have brought the viewers through time and space. This program is an attempt to outline some possible personal paths by surfing through different routes: film archives, countries, cultures, people, historical eras, and events.

All these journeys all around the world through the eyes of the “amateurs” and their small gauge cameras will offer to the public a glimpse into what we can find online and on what home movies are (or can be) without any attempt to be exhaustive. After following the whole path, each home movie reveals itself to be different from the others, so at least from now on we hopefully will no longer hear the usual comments about these films, “they are all the same,” or “if you watch one of them you have seen them all!”.

CfP: The ‘little apparatus’: 100 years of 9.5mm film’ Conference (UK, 2022)

16 – 18 June 2022, University of Southampton  

An international conference hosted in person and online by the Department of Film Studies’ ‘Centre For International Film Research’ at the University of Southampton. 

December 1922 will mark the centenary of the introduction of 9.5mm film to the French cinematographic market. Pathé Freres first launched their ‘Pathé Baby’ home cinema system on domestic territory in time for the Christmas season, with the promise of a soon to follow lightweight and modestly priced cine-camera using the same narrow gauge, that could fit in a vest pocket (1923, pp. 48–50). In time, the new gauge became available elsewhere -arriving just ahead of Kodak’s 16mm film/cinema system and together signalling the first major boom in amateur filmmaking. 

This event aims to reflect on the diverse use of 9.5mm film throughout its 100 year history and create space for scholars, archivists and curators to explore and share new research in the field while opening up new avenues for inquiry. 

Hosted by the University of Southampton this international conference will accommodate a dual approach – in-person and online for contributions exploring/considering the global reach of 9.5mm film culture. International speakers are encouraged and our proposed format will allow for virtual attendance via live streamed sessions or recorded content. 

The conference organisers are delighted to confirm keynote addresses by Dr Ryan Shand (Ravensbourne University London) and Dr Annamaria Motrescu-Mayes (University of Cambridge). 

We welcome proposals for 20-minute papers and for 1hr 30min conference panels, from scholars, archivists, and curators around the world at any stage in their academic careers. We are especially interested in interdisciplinary submissions and encourage papers and contributions across the wide use and application of 9.5mm film in the last 100 years. 

We would also like to invite regional, national and international archives to present curated packages of film as well as presentations on 9.5mm collections and filmmakers within their holdings. The organisers welcome papers on topics including, but not limited to: 

  • • 9.5mm as an amateur gauge 
  • • Professional/Avant Garde/artists’ filmmaking using 9.5mm 
  • • ‘Cult’ 9.5 
  • • 9.5mm and the democratisation of filmmaking 
  • • 9.5mm and challenges of representation and diversity in amateur film collections 
  • • The archival challenge/digitisation agendas/funding/historiography 
  • • Curating amateur film gauges, especially 9.5mm 
  • • 9.5mm and global experience of amateur technologies 
  • • 9.5mm and ‘The Cinema In Your Home’ 
  • • 9.5mm and colour film 

Abstracts of maximum 250 words and bios of maximum 75 words should be submitted via the Google Form on the conference website (Conference Website) by 17:00 (GMT) on 17 October 2021, with decisions expected in early December 2021. 

Submissions must include the presenters’ full name, institutional affiliations and the preferred method of attendance (in person or online). 

Conference Website 

Conference date: 16, 17, 18 June 2022 

Deadline for proposals: 17 October 2021 

Please submit proposals via the Google Form on the conference website Conference Website 

If you have any questions please do get in touch by email: 100yearsof9.5mm@gmail.com 

Home Movies: research papers and networks, AMIA Spring Conference, 14-16 April 2021

Plese see further details below and at AMIA Spring Conference programme.

  1. Describing the Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters Audiovisual collection
  • Brianna Toth, Academy Film Archive
  • Caitlin Denny, UCLA Graduate Program in Library & Information Science
  • Todd Wiener, UCLA Film & Television Archive

How can one describe a collection, if the content defies archival standards? Do these concepts allow the flexibility to accommodate the unusual, eccentric or under-represented? Furthermore, can creative improvisations be employed in the archival practices of arrangement and description to provide access? These questions must be asked when attempting to describe the irreverent ethos of the Ken Kesey Collection of Merry Pranksters Home Movies and other Materials collection’s subject matter. In addition to the content, the arrangement (or lack thereof), communal authorship, and conflicting legacy records, problematize the application of concepts such as respect des fonds, provenance, and original order. This presentation will discuss the collaboration, alternative approaches to descriptive standards and consolidation of 10 years of documentation from multiple preservation projects that were necessary to arrange and describe this collection. Challenges and potential recommendations for complex moving image collections will be discussed and never-before-seen footage will be screened.

2. Developing National and International Home Movies Networks

  • Dwight Swanson, Independent
  • Gianmarco Torri, INEDITS
  • Annamaria Motrescu-Mayes, Amateur Cinema Studies Network 
  • Karianne Fiorini, Re-Framing Home Movies
  • Lorena Escala Vignolo, Cine Amateur Peruano

Home movies are among the most intimate of films and have traditionally been collected primarily by municipal or regional archives as examples of documentation of local life. In recent years, however, both in-person and online events and projects have allowed for broader considerations of the films, especially during the past year when archives have been regularly sharing their programs with audiences around the world.    This panel, which is targeted at archives that hold amateur collections, is the first attempt to pull together organizations that manage home movie and amateur film networking projects on national and international levels. The panel will focus on the possibilities and needs of broader international coordination of home movie organizations and networks, and each panelist will present its networking activities and strategies, as well as the results of their most recent activities, in order to foster a discussion on shared goals.

3.Expanding Access to Brazilian Home Movies – A Cinelimite Case Study

  • William Marc Plotnick, Cinelimite Inc. / NYU MIAP

Cinelimite Inc. is a new American non-profit company dedicated to expanding access to Brazilian cinema and audiovisual history in the United States. One of their missions is to highlight how amateur film and filmmakers have recorded moments of Brazil throughout the 20th century that reflect the diverse culture of that country, equal to any feature length or professionally produced work. Upon creating an open call for people in Brazil to send Cinelimite their home movies here in the United States, and some significant outreach efforts, the company was sent over eighty super-8mm home films. After significant efforts to repair and scan these works under a low budget, a majority of them can now be freely seen on their website.     With this poster session, Cinelimite co-founders William Plotnick and Gustavo Menezes will talk about the importance of amateur film preservation and access in Latin American countries such as Brazil.

4. Introducing a Project to Recover and Exhibit Peruvian Amateur Films

  • Lorena Escala Vignolo, EQZE Alumni

The poster presentation will focus on a project derived from the master’s degree thesis I started at Elφas Querejeta Zine Eskola (San Sebastian) centered on the reflection on home movies and amateur films from my country, Per·. The encounter with some Super-8 mm films from an amateur filmmaker from the Amazon and the task of digitizing them, along with another 42 orphan film reels bought in Lima by the director of MUTA International Found-Footage Film Festival, and the proliferation of online exhibitions due to the pandemic, got me the idea of creating a portal for sharing some of these moving images.     As there is no public entity, at a national or local range, that digitizes and promotes the caring for home movies, private initiatives are crucial. With the support of my school’s teachers and my mentor from the AMIA DIFP, www.cineamateurperuano.org was born. It suddenly came to my mind to turn it into a way to link existing related projects on the field. So far, it is just a platform to share home movies, plan Home Movie Days and search for new material. Some people interested or who is already working on digitization has contacted me though the site.     On one hand, the poster will point out to the problems I have found so far, but also the possibilities to make this idea grow to formalize a digital archive with a proper catalogue and easy access for the general public. I think the issues of the proliferation of people getting digital copies of their home movies by themselves and throwing the originals, the acquisition of orphan films by privates who are not thinking of these artifacts as heritage, the lack of proper equipment and the disaggregation of projects about small gauge films are common, specially, in Latin America. This will be a good opportunity to discuss on those things and, at the same time, to put peruvian amateur and home movies production on a wider scope, which is something almost unknown.

5. Borderlands | On the Border by the Sea: Archiving Amigoland

  • Dolissa Medina, Filmmaker
  • Angela Reginato, Co-Producer and Editor

Filmmaker Dolissa Medina presents a program of archival material gleaned while conducting research for her current film project, Small Town, Turn Away. The film is a feature-length personal documentary portrait of the director’s Mexican American border hometown of Brownsville, Texas 30 years after she left as a queer teenager, following in the footsteps of an older cousin who died from AIDS. Over the past five years, the filmmaker has collected material from sources including the Texas Archive of the Moving Image, the Catholic Diocese of Brownsville, The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, local news stations, and previous generations of documentary filmmakers. The archives have helped her piece together news events she either witnessed or participated in as a teenager coming of age in South Texas during the 1980s. Featured footage includes the original Sanctuary Movement for Central

American refugees, Reagan’s re-election campaign visit in 1984, the 1988 “Tienda Amigo” building collapse tragedy, and the ritual murders of 1989, in which a cult of drug smugglers sacrificed victims to magically protect their operation. Also featured will be Super-8 home movies of Brownsville’s Charro Days fiesta, a celebration of friendship with the town’s sister city of Matamoros, Mexico, held each February since. The program is a portrait of Brownsville and the Rio Grande Valley that is rarely seen. The film program will end with some samples of Medina’s previous and current work showcasing her use of archival material. Angela Reginato, co-producer and editor of Small Town, Turn Away, will join Medina for a Q&A.

‘Developing National and International Home Movies Networks’, 15 April 2021

Conference panel, AMIA Spring Conference.

[amateur] ‘Film Troubadours: Scotland and Ukraine’

[amateur] ‘Film Troubadours: Scotland and Ukraine‘ (DOCUSPACE Festival, online, 26 March – 4 May 2021)

“Re-framing home movies” 26-27 February 2021

For further details and (free of charge) registration see the Event page. All sessions will be available in English.

Programme:
Friday 26th February

7-8 pm / Italian with English translation / On Zoom
Presentation of the new Re-framing home movie Association with all the founding members and the public.
9-11 pm / Italian with English translation / On Zoom and VIMEO
Presentation of the Re-framing home movies #3 – Residenze in archivio project;
Presentation and Screenings of 2 short films and 1 artist’s book by three of the six artists who have participated to Re-framing home movies #3 – Residenze in archivio:

  • ciudad lineal (Italia 2021, 31′) di Riccardo Bertoia
  • n+n (Italia 2021, Artist’s book, 12×18,5 cm, 240 pp.) di Bianca Maldini
  • ARBATAX!! (Italia 2021, 20′) di Helena Falabino
  • Q&A

Saturday 27th February

7-8 pm / English with Italian translation / On Zoom and VIMEO. Presentation of “The Great Migration Home Movie Project” of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture by Ina Archer, plus screenings from the films collected.

9-11 pm / Italian with English translation / On Zoom and VIMEO
Presentation and Screenings of 3 short films by three of the six artists who have participated to Re-framing home movies #3 – Residenze in archivio:

  • Sulle arie, sulle acque, sui luoghi (Italia 2021, 24’) di Vittoria Soddu
  • Death of a mountain (Italia 2021, 39’) di Nuno Escudeiro
  • Le vacanze (Italia 2021, 30’) di Camilla Iannetti
  • Q&A

INEDITS talks: 15 December 2020, ‘Programme autour des films d’Amaury Laurentin’ by Olivier Meunier

For more information see Association INEDITS – Online

© 2010 Amateur Cinema (Media) Studies Network