James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center

Monday, June 6, 2011

Hormel Center's Frameline Video Archive Project

The Frameline San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival donated its entire movie archive to the Hormel Center of San Francisco Public Library. The gift includes not only the films shown in the Festival for the past 35 years, but many film submissions never screened. As you may imagine, preserving this collection is central to the Library's mission and of vital importance to the LGBT Community. Just this spring The Hormel Gay and Lesbian Center began to digitize this massive collection. The photograph above is from the futurist Japanese film Summer Vacation:1999 by Shusuke Kaneko. This boys' school charmer features a terrific all-girl cast. (And ssshhhhh! This movie will be shown for free in our Koret Auditorium, Thursday June 23 at noon).

Project Consultant and film historian Jenni Olson went through the collection and selected films she determined to be highest-priority for saving. We sent 14 films, some of them beginning to deteriorate and at risk of being lost forever, to the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) for digital preservation. To find out more about this Frameline Archive Project visit www.sfpl.org/frameline . Come hear Olson speak on Tuesday June 7 in the Koret Auditorium at 6:00pm. She has wonderful stories to tell about the films we are preserving. On stage you will also meet Frameline Festival Program Director Jennifer Morris and Hormel Center Program Manager Karen Sundheim.

And don't miss a rare opportunity to see some of these historical gems screened in their entirety! Every Thursday in June at noon we will show one or two of the finest in our collection. On Thursday June 9 we show Olivia (Pit of Loneliness), a 1951 French lesbian boarding school drama. On June 16 Director Reno Dakota will be here for the showing of his award-winning movie American Fabulous (1991). That's the cover of the video above left. And on June 30 we'll show both Boy! What a Girl!, the 1945 all-Black cast musical starring Tim Moore as the bald, cigar-smoking female impersonator Madame Deborah (see photo above right). We'll also show Out of the Shadows, a rarely screened documentary portrait of African-American Gay and Transgender men in Washington DC, narrated by the late poet Essex Hemphill.

We are hoping to continue to digitize this precious international movie collection over the next couple of years. It is an expensive project and its completion will depend on donations.

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