University Helps Create Largest Archive of Gay and Lesbian Movies
July 11, 2005
From Agence France Presse
A top US university has teamed up with a Los Angeles gay film festival to create and preserve the world's largest publicly accessible archive of homosexual movies, they announced Monday.
The University of California at Los Angeles and Outfest launched a scheme to preserve and restore Outfest's collection of more than 3,300 independent films with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender movies to ensure the future of the genre.
"The creation of the largest collection of media materials of this kind is important not only for scholars, researchers, filmmakers, and historians worldwide, but also for the broader society," said Franklin Gilliam of UCLA Community Partnerships, which funds the initiative.
The project, dubbed the Outfest Legacy Project for LGBT Film Preservation, will seek to fill in a gap left by mainstream film preservationists who have in the past overlooked homosexual films because they have not had a perceived commercial value.
"These films represent our community's cultural legacy and we refuse to be complacent in the erasure of our own history," said Stephen Gutwillig, Executive Director of Outfest, formed at ICLA in 1982.
The first phase of the project will include transferring Outfest's existing library of preview tapes and discs to the UCLA archive where many of the titles will be digitized to allow public access to films.
Phase two will include establishing a collection of archive-quality 16 millimeter and 35 millimeter prints at the UCLA archive. Print donations will be solicited from filmmakers, collectors and distributors and new prints will be made of titles whose components are intact and accessible.
The UCLA Film and Television Archive is one of the largest collections of media materials in the United States , second only to the Library of Congress in Washington .