US-NZ Film Archive partnership welcomed

  • Christopher Finlayson
Arts, Culture and Heritage

Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Christopher Finlayson has welcomed a partnership to repatriate and preserve 75 American motion pictures from the New Zealand Film Archive's collection to the United States National Film Preservation Foundation.

"I welcome this partnership between the National Film Preservation Foundation and the New Zealand Film Archive," Mr Finlayson.

"Late last year I was pleased to be able to launch a fundraising campaign for a new storage facility for the Film Archive, and more recently, a one-off injection of $2 million extra funding in Budget 2010 to the Film Archive for crucial film preservation."

"The interest in the Film Archive's collection shows the breadth and international significance of its moving image collection."

There are no known copies of these nitrate films in existence in the United States. The discovery of John Ford's full-length feature Upstream (1927) illuminates a previously lost page of Ford's early years at Fox Studios. Among the other important finds is Maytime (1923), an early feature with Clara Bow.

Under this partnership these important films will be preserved and made available to both American and New Zealand audiences to enjoy. This project is another example of the strong relationship we share with the United States and adds a new dimension to wider New Zealand - United States film cooperation." Mr Finlayson said.

The films will be preserved over the next three years for access through major American silent film archives including the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Library of Congress, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Copies of the complete films will also be publicly available in New Zealand through the Film Archive.