Posted February 22, 2024


A Behind-the-Scenes Look at What it Takes to Save Cinema History for Future Audiences


Pleasantville, NY—February 22, 2024—The Jacob Burns Film Center (JBFC) unveils its inaugural series, Restored & Rediscovered: A Film Preservation Festival, which promises an enriching journey through film history, featuring a diverse selection of restored classics, independent gems, documentaries, and silent film rarities. JBFC Restored & Rediscovered highlights the vital efforts to safeguard our cinematic heritage by uniting experts, filmmakers, archivists, curators, and restorers. The weeklong celebration runs from May 13–19, 2024, with additional screenings extended through May 20–23.

Films featured in the series include Nancy Savoca’s Household Saints, Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, Edward Yang’s Mahjong, Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom, and Carol Reed’s The Third Man, along with impactful short films and documentaries from independent filmmakers all over the world. A list of films and special guests is below.

“This festival is a celebration of the work it takes to protect and preserve film that might otherwise have been lost,” said Monica Castillo, JBFC Senior Programmer and Series Curator. “Through their meticulous restoration efforts, several films we now consider classics were rescued from the brink of obscurity and brought back to life, allowing audiences to experience their magic again. Our various partners in this festival have been at the forefront of championing these preservation efforts. They will join us in person through panels, Q&As, and a reception to discuss their work and illustrate the various processes involved in the race to safeguard celluloid film against time.”

One special guest Justin LaLiberty (Stratford, CT), a former JBFC projectionist, returns for a program on genre films. “We’re thrilled to welcome back our former colleague Justin, as part of our partnership with Vinegar Syndrome for JBFC Restored & Rediscovered. Justin’s expertise and passion for film preservation make him an invaluable addition to our lineup, and we’re excited for audiences to engage with him during his on-stage Q&A,” said Andrew Robinson, JBFC Technical Manager. LaLiberty is screening a previously lost film, The Rare Blue Apes of Cannibal Isle with the feature-length documentary Against the Grain, which takes viewers behind the scenes at Vinegar Syndrome and other specialized distributors and archives to learn more about the challenges of saving and restoring genre films.

JBFC Restored & Rediscovered is presented in partnership with organizations and individuals at the forefront of film preservation. Partner organizations include IndieCollect, Janus Films, Kino Lorber, Milestone Films, Rialto Pictures, The Film Foundation, Vinegar Syndrome, along with individuals such as Ben Model and associated partners working to restore movies for future audiences. More titles and partners to be announced.



Monday, May 13

  • The Many Miracles of Household Saints at 5:00
    Introduction by filmmaker Martina Savoca-Guay
    A behind-the-scenes documentary by Martina Savoca-Guay about the improbable story behind the making of Household Saints, along with contemporary interviews of her parents who made the film. (2023)
    Presented in collaboration with Kino Lorber and Milestone Films.


    Household Saints at 6:30
    Post-screening Q&A with director Nancy Savoca and producer Rich Guay, and their daughter Martina Savoca-Guay with Milestone Films’ Amy Heller and Dennis Doros, followed by a reception
    A drama about three generations of Italian-American women struggling to get by in post-World War II New York’s Little Italy starring Vincent D’Onofrio, Tracey Ullman, Lili Taylor, and Michael Imperioli. (1993)
    Household Saints was digitally restored and remastered by Lightbox Film Center at University of the Arts (Philadelphia) in collaboration with Milestone Films with support from Ron and Suzanne Naples. Restoration Supervisor: Ross Lipman, Corpus Fluxus. Picture Restoration: Illuminate Hollywood. Sound Restoration: Audio Mechanics.
    Presented in collaboration with Kino Lorber and Milestone Films.
    Encore screening on Tuesday, May 21 at 7:00.


Tuesday, May 14

  • Bushman at 4:00
    Introduction by Series Curator Monica Castillo
    In 1968’s tumult, a Nigerian student in San Francisco experiences clashing cultures and elucidates society’s ineptitude at living humanely. (1971)
    Bushman was restored by the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive and The Film Foundation. Funding provided by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation. Additional support provided by Peter Conheim, Cinema Preservation Alliance.
    Presented in collaboration with Kino Lorber and Milestone Films.
    Encore screening on Wednesday, May 22 at 7:00.


  • Lady Windermere’s Fan/The Adventurer at 7:00
    Introduction from a MoMA film curator and live musical accompaniment by Makia Matsumura
    Celebrating the film restoration work of the Museum of Modern Art, the JBFC is proud to present two of their restorations, Charlie Chaplin’s The Adventurer and Ernst Lubitsch’s Lady Windermere’s Fan.
    Presented in collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art.


Wednesday, May 15

  • Free For JBFC Members: IndieCollect Shorts 1 (Possum Living, Woo Who? May Wilson, Painting the Town) at 1:30
    Q&A with directors Nancy Schreiber and Amalie R. Rothschild


  • Free For JBFC Members: IndieCollect Shorts 2 (Days are Numbered, The Way of the Wicked, Home Movie, A Comedy in Six Unnatural Acts) at 4:45
    Introduction from IndieCollect Archivist Matt Hoffman


  • Free For JBFC Members: IndieCollect Shorts 3 (Possum Living, It Happens to Us, Painting the Town) at 7:00
    Q&A with directors Nancy Schreiber and Amalie R. Rothschild
    Encore screening of It Happens to Us, Woo Who? May Wilson, and Painting the Town on Tues., May 21 at 4:20.


Thursday, May 16

  • New York Through Her Lens at 4:00
    Introduction by Women’s Film Preservation Fund co-chairs Kirsten Larvick and Erika Yeomans
    Post-screening Q&A with Director Mirra Bank
    Four films by women, all restored with the help of the Women’s Film Preservation Fund, shot in and around New York City, look at key locales that are central to the films’ subjects and stories. Films include: Charlotte Moorman’s Avant Garde Festival #9 (1965), Windows in the Kitchen (1977), Ellis Island (1981), and Yudie (1974).
    Presented in collaboration with the Women’s Film Preservation Fund part of New York Women in Film and Television.


  • The Unknown/Pinto Ben at 7:00
    Introduction from Anthony L’abbate, preservation manager at the George Eastman Museum and live musical accompaniment by Ben Model
    Pinto Ben is a 1915 silent film western short written, directed by and starring William S. Hart.
    A Freudian pile-up of repressed desires, castration anxiety, and Oedipal subtext, Todd Browing’s
    The Unknown is widely considered one of the premier works of the silent era. (1927)
    Presented in collaboration with the George Eastman Museum.


Friday, May 17

  • The Runner at 1:00
    Pre-Recorded Q&A with Actor Madjid Niroumand
    A masterpiece of Iranian cinema about an illiterate yet resourceful orphan living alone in an abandoned tanker, surviving abuse from adults and competing older kids. (1984)Restored from the original negative in 2K by Cineric and presented in collaboration with Rialto Pictures. Encore screening on Monday, May 20 at 7:00.


  • Mahjong at 3:45
    Introduction by Programming Coordinator Ian LoCascio
    Edward Yang’s penultimate film is an acerbic, sprawling tragicomedy, a poison love letter to Taipei as a rising cosmopolis of big money, big dreams, and big cons. In several intertwined tales of greed, violence, and shattered principles, Mahjong examines how a city can grow in power and wealth while abandoning its heart and soul. (1996)

    The new 4K restoration was undertaken by the Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute with the support of Kaili Peng and Kailidoscope Pictures. Presented in collaboration with Janus Films.
    Encore screening on Wednesday, May 22 at 4:00.


  • Rare Blue Apes of Cannibal Isle/ Against the Grain at 6:30
    Q&A with Justin LaLiberty, producer at Vinegar Syndrome and former JBFC projectionist
    An almost impossible to describe “kiddie” musical, shot in Malaysia by veteran sexploitation director Donn Greer (101 Acts of Love), The Rare Blue Apes Of Cannibal Isle (1974) offers a jaw-dropping barrage of singing crocodiles and monkeys, deadly and psychedelic booby traps, barren hellscapes, and a lovable duck named Mr. Quack Quack…We guarantee you’ve never seen anything like it. (1974)
    Against the Grain is a feature-length documentary exploring home video studios and their efforts to recover and restore lost and forgotten genre films. (2023)

Saturday, May 18

  • Hugo in 3D at 11:00
    Introduction by Monica Castillo; screening followed by a hands-on activity at the Media Arts Lab where viewers can draw on film strips and project them. The activity includes a film projection demonstration by JBFC projectionists.
    In 1931 Paris, an orphan living in the walls of a train station gets wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton. Martin Scorsese’s kid-friendly adventure doubles as a tribute to the magic of early silent movies. (2011)


  • Laughter Restored: Discovering Rare Gems of the Silent Era with Ben Model at 1:15
    Live Musical Accompaniment by Ben Model
    Silent film historian, accompanist and distributor Ben Model presents a combination lecture + screening about his work over the past decade uncovering, restoring and reintroducing rare films of the lesser-known luminaries of silent comedy to the public.


  • Peeping Tom at 4:00
    (Just added!) Q&A with Thelma Schoonmaker
    The May 18 screening will be followed by a conversation about the director and the restoration of this rediscovered gem with Michael Powell’s wife and celebrated editor, Thelma Schoonmaker.

    The bodies pile up as sensitive film studio focus puller Mark Lewis (Carl Boehm) moonlights as a private photographer of scantily-clad women, while obsessively working on his own “documentary” of the women’s dying expressions. What once was director Michael Powell’s most criticized work has been reexamined and praised for its innovation. (1960)

    Restored by The Film Foundation and BFI National Archive in association with Studiocanal. Funding provided by The Film Foundation and Studiocanal. Special thanks to Martin Scorsese and Thelma Schoonmaker for their consultation. 4K scanning by Silver Salt Restoration Limited, London; Picture restoration by Cineric, Inc., New York; Audio restoration by BFI National Archive Presented in collaboration with Rialto Pictures.
    Encore screening on Thursday, May 23 at 7:00.


  • The Third Man at 7:00
    Introduction by Series Curator Monica Castillo
    Pulp novelist Holly Martins (Joseph Cotton) travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime (Orson Welles). (1949)4K restoration by Deluxe Restoration on behalf of Studiocanal. Presented in collaboration with Rialto Pictures.
    Encore screening on Thursday, May 23 at 4:45.


Sunday, May 19

  • Preserving Moving Images of the Past—NYU Workshop at 11:00
    The program will be presented by archivists from NYU’s Moving Image Archiving and Preservation (MIAP) department, which trains future professionals to manage and preserve collections of film, video, digital, and multimedia works. Participants will have the opportunity to experiment with basic film repairs.
    MIAP is situated within New York University’s Department of Cinema Studies, part of the Kanbar Institute of Film & Television in the acclaimed Tisch School of the Arts.


  • Tell Me a Riddle/ The Stronger at 1:00
    A case study in resilience, Lee Grant earned her first Oscar nomination in 1951 and tragically found herself blacklisted the following year. After more than a decade of being unable to work in film, Grant was removed from the blacklist in 1964 and began to rebuild her career as an actor, director, and documentarian. This program includes her 1976 short film The Stronger and her feature-length debut Tell Me a Riddle, revolutionary in 1980 as one of the first American feature films to be written, produced, and directed by women.Both films have been digitally restored in 4K from the original 35mm negatives.
    Presented in collaboration with the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts, and Sciences and Hope Runs High Films.


  • Harlem on the Prairie at 4:30
    Singer Herbert Jeffrey makes his cinematic debut in this long-unavailable film as the strapping young cowpoke who comes to the rescue of a traveling medicine show battling outlaws for buried treasure. Filmed at a Black-owned ranch in Apple Valley, California, Harlem on the Prairie packs thrills, romance, and comedy into its economic hour-long runtime. (1937)
    Presented in collaboration with the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts, and Sciences.


  • Death of a Bureaucrat at 6:00
    Tomás Gutiérrez Alea was the most internationally successful director from post-revolutionary Cuba. In one of his funniest films, Gutiérrez Alea satirizes the byzantine nature of bureaucracy, and is thus still a favorite of Cuban audiences.
    The original camera negative for the film suffered severe damage from mold, humidity, and acetate deterioration; the film was restored by the Academy Film Archive and the Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industrias Cinematográficos. The screening will be preceded by a short from the Academy Film Archive.
    Presented in collaboration with the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts, and Sciences.


Monday, May 20

  • Lumumba: The Death of a Prophet at 5:00
    Investigating revolutionary Patrice Lumumba’s brief tenure as the first prime minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as the machinations behind his shocking assassination, legendary Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck discovers critical flashpoints where a nation’s officially curated narratives intersect with repressed truths. (2000)Restored by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project and Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata/L’Image Retrouvée in collaboration with Velvet Film and supervised by Raoul Peck. Presented in collaboration with Janus Films. Encore screening on Wednesday, May 22 at 2:00.

The Jacob Burns Film Center is proud to receive generous support from:

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