What is an Orphan Film?

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Orphan Films and The State

March 26-29, 2008

New York University

The University of South Carolina Film Studies Program hosts its 5th symposium on the preservation, study and use of “orphan films.” Orphans 5 focuses on neglected media artifacts related to science, industry and education. These categories are broadly conceived, with presentations on industrial filmmaking, the role of cinematography in the history of science, moving images of industries, classroom movies, uses of media for an array of educational ends (political campaigns, news, training), formats developed for nontheatrical films, nature documentaries, the history of technology, and scientific and technological developments in film and media preservation.

The Orphan Film Symposium brings together an eclectic mix of moving image archivists, cinema and media scholars, preservation experts, curators, and filmmakers who work with orphaned material. Speakers lead three days and four nights of presentations, screenings and discussion, but all registrants are encouraged to participate in the discussion.

Read endorsements for past symposia

Orphans 5 also features presentations made possible by the National Film Preservation Foundation and a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Rick Prelinger leads a team of archivists and scholars preparing Industrial and Institutional Films: A Field Guide, an NFPF publication coming in fall 2006.

For more information, contact Dan Streible (803) 777-9158.