Project works to preserve home lms
A national lm project is collecting home movies from Indigenous Peoples and visible minorities in an e ort to preserve the lms in national archives.
e project, Home Made Visible, was started by the Regent Park Film Festival in Toronto and inspired by Ali Kazimi’s documentary, Random Acts of Legacy, the story of a Chinese American family compiled from deteriorating home movies.
To help collect films from across the country, the Regent Park Film Festival partnered with smaller organizations in other cities.
In Halifax, they partnered with the Centre for Art Tapes, an artist-run centre that helps support the stories and ideas that are underrepresented in mainstream culture.
Elizabeth Mudenyo, special projects manager with the Regent Park Film Festival, says partnering with organizations around the country helps them nd lms that represent regional diversity.
“ is will help Indigenous and minority communities realize how much their lives and stor- ies matter here,” Mudenyo says. “ eir stories … can be shared within a wider narrative.”
To date, the project has collected 125 lms from 17 participants in Toronto.
e project accepts lms from the 20th century. Formats they accept include 16 mm, eight mm, VHS, Mini DV Tape, Hi8, video and digitized formats.
Most of the films date from 2000 and earlier.
The oldest film is from the 1960s, while the majority are from the 1980s and 1990s.
The films feature everything from weddings and birthdays, to children playing or rehearsals for school concerts.
Other films recorded huge weather events, such as snowstorms.
“People know in the moment in time it’s a historic event,” Mudenyo says.
Participants don’t often have the technology, Mudenyo says, such as VCRS, to play the lms or the lm is often at risk of falling apart over time. When lms are submitted to Home Made Visible, they’re digitized.
“It’s a chance to have it digitized so they can share it with family and community,” Mudenyo says.
Tori Fleming is the programming director at the Centre for Art Tapes in Halifax and is helping to collect the home movies in Halifax and around the province.
She says people who have tapes can use the facility’s equipment to digitize the tapes, even if they don’t want to share the lms with the program.
She says old tapes are quick to deteriorate and will likely only last a couple of more years.
“I feel like we’re actually going to help save the tapes,” Fleming says.
But she says saving the content is important, too, especially for historians whose work often relies on documents and lms in archives.
“Our part is making sure these stories are available to those who need them,” Fleming says.
After the lms are digitized, the participant who submitted the lm can also choose to be interviewed.
at interview will be played over the film itself to provide context.
A ve-minute segment is selected that will be submitted to the York University Archives.
That segment can also be played for public screenings, if the participant wishes.
“It’s beautiful to see these films,” Mudenyo says. “Even though they’re not my family, it feels like they could be.”
As well, Mudenyo says those who want to share a lm can trust a local organization, such as the Centre for Art Tapes, where they can drop the lm o rather than mail or courier it to Toronto.
To apply to contribute a lm, go to the Home Made Visible website at homemadevisible.ca and ll out the form online.
A project organizer will contact you about your lm.
ere is no cost to participate. Home Made Visible will be collecting home lms until May 2019.
Home Made Visible photo Oct. 2.jpg