D.A. Pennebaker and Barbara Kopple are among the filmmakers speaking at the Documentary Preservation Summit, a two-day event in New York City at the end of this month organized by Doc NYC and the International Documentary Association.
Slated to be held on Tuesday, March 31, and Wednesday, April 1 at IFC Center in downtown Manhattan, organizers said the summit will present information aimed at documentary filmmakers who need to preserve and archive their own work. "We want to sound an alarm," said Doc NYC Artistic Director Thom Powers in ,a prepared statement. "Today all filmmakers have to serve as their own archivists, whether it's for work on older formats or fresh footage on a hard drive."
A Tuesday-evening keynote at 7:30 p.m. will show attendees the new IndieCollect index, which attempts to catalog all American independent film. At that session, Pennebaker, Kopple, Powers, IndieCollect head Sandra Schulberg, and producer-director Warrington Hudlin will sound "A Call to Action for Documentary Preservation."
The recently restored The Memory of Justice, a Marcel Ophüls documentary on the Nuremberg Trials, was long thought to have been lost.
Four more panels covering monetization of older films, legal issues, and preservation strategies, among other subjects, will take place on Wednesday. One project that will be highlighted is The Memory of Justice, a 1976 Marcel Ophüls documentary that was recently restored by the Academy Film Archive in association with Paramount Pictures and The Film Foundation. A new 2K DCP was made from the 16mm original elements and screened last month at the Berlinale.
A summit pass is $25, or $20 in advance for IDA and IFC Center members. A full listing of events follows.
DOCUMENTARY PRESERVATION SUMMIT
presented by DOC NYC and the International Documentary Association
Tuesday, March 31 at IFC Center
7:30-9:00 pm KEYNOTE PANEL: A CALL TO ACTION FOR DOCUMENTARY PRESERVATION
Documentary films capture vital moments of history and culture that are at great risk of being lost if we don’t pay greater attention to their preservation. This keynote panel is aimed at film lovers who want to better understand why classic documentaries become unavailable and what’s being done to address the crisis in preservation. We’ll unveil new details of the IndieCollect film documentation and preservation campaign funded by the Ford Foundation that seeks to be part of a positive change in independent film preservation.
Speakers: Warrington Hudlin (Black Filmmaker Foundation), Barbara Kopple (filmmaker), D.A. Pennebaker (filmmaker), Sandra Schulberg (IndieCollect), moderated by Thom Powers (DOC NYC).
Wednesday, April 1 at IFC Center
10:30-11:40 am EARNING NEW REVENUE FROM OLD FILMS
Is there any money to be made from old documentaries? That’s a key question that arises when discussing preservation. This panel brings together representatives of digital streaming platforms to discuss opportunities for selling back catalog films, including case studies of the Drew Associates library and Hands on a Hard Body.
Speakers: Jeremy Boxer (Vimeo), Adam Klaff (VHX), Linda Pan (Doc Club), George Schmalz (Kickstarter).
Noon – 1:10 pm CONFRONTING CLEARANCE & LEGAL ISSUES
Older documentaries often face legal impediments in order to be re-released. Those challenges include unclear contracts with producers and distributors; or murky clearance agreements for footage and music. This panel brings together specialists who have addressed these issues. One recent success story is Marcel Ophuls’ The Memory of Justice (1976; pictured, above), recently restored in an effort led by Martin Scorsese’s non-profit preservation organization, The Film Foundation. The project was an outlier for The Film Foundation, which previously hadn’t faced clearance issues on any other restoration project during its 25-year history. Executive director Margaret Bodde will share what she learned alongside other case studies.
Speakers: Margaret Bodde (The Film Foundation), Dennis Doros (Milestone Films), Rena Kosersky (Music Supervisor, Eyes on the Prize).
2:00 – 3:10 pm HOW DOES YOUR FILM BECOME PRESERVED & DISCOVERABLE?
Filmmakers need to understand what film archives do and how to partner with them. But preserving your film for posterity is just the first step. IndieCollect and some of its archive collaborators illustrate how they preserve work and render it accessible — to film programmers, online distributors, cinephiles, and the general public — so that filmmakers can monetize it.
Speakers: Israel Ehrisman (IndieCollect), Elena Rossi-Snook (New York Public Library), Katie Trainor (MoMA).
3:30 – 4:40 pm BEST PRACTICES: DON’T LOSE YOUR FOOTAGE IN THE DIGITAL AGE
For today’s working filmmaker, finished works as well as raw footage increasingly wind up on hard drives for digital storage. The challenge of how to cope with digital formats is new to everyone. It requires even greater diligence than was required for older formats of celluloid and tape. On this panel, filmmakers discuss cautionary tales and strategies for not losing precious footage.
Speakers: Allison Berg (director, The Dog), Rufus de Rham (Activist Archivists), Clara Fon-Sing (NBCUniversal Archives), David Leitner (filmmaker).