The Film Foundation, the leading non-profit organization dedicated to film preservation, was born out of the recognized need for a single influential entity to take the lead in advocating and supporting the preservation of our nation’s cinematic heritage. The organization was founded in 1990 by Martin Scorsese and a distinguished group of fellow filmmakers - Woody Allen, Robert Altman, Francis Ford Coppola, Clint Eastwood, Stanley Kubrick, George Lucas, Sydney Pollack, Robert Redford, and Steven Spielberg. In 2006, they were joined on the foundation’s board of directors by Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson, Curtis Hanson, Peter Jackson, Ang Lee, and Alexander Payne. All are dedicated to protecting motion pictures and the rights of the artists who create them, educating the public about the importance of film preservation, and raising the necessary funds to save the endangered cinematic treasures of the 20th century. The foundation is aligned with the Directors Guild of America, whose President and Secretary-Treasurer also serve on the foundation’s board.
Over the past 19 years, through partnerships with the nation’s leading film archives – Academy Film Archive (Los Angeles, CA); George Eastman House (Rochester, NY); Library of Congress (Washington, DC); Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY); and UCLA Film and Television Archive (Los Angeles, CA) – The Film Foundation has identified, managed, and funded the preservation and restoration work of over 525 films that might have otherwise been lost. In addition, The Film Foundation works with the National Film Preservation Foundation (NFPF), which reaches over 100 regional archives, libraries and historical societies. Through the foundation’s support of NFPF’s Federal Grant program, NFPF has been able to preserve 1,322 films since their inception. The films saved include a broad and exciting range of titles, including studio and independent features, avant-garde works, documentaries, newsreels, home movies, and films from the silent era. The cultural institutions supported by The Film Foundation provide U.S. and international communities with essential access to the immeasurable wealth of our cinematic heritage.
Additionally, The Film Foundation created The Story of Movies project, the first-ever integrated interdisciplinary curriculum, in recognition of the importance of exposing future generations to classic cinema and teaching them about the cultural, artistic, and historical significance of film. This educational program was distributed, free of charge, to over 30,000 middle school and high schools across the country, reaching an estimated 16 million students. Each teaching unit includes DVDs, a teacher’s guide, and a student activities booklet. The first films for study are Robert Mulligan’s classic TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962), Frank Capra’s MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (1939), and Robert Wise’s THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951). The response to this program from students and educators has been overwhelming.
For more information about The Film Foundation, please contact us.