Just surfing around the other day I stumbled on this very cool website: www.homemovieday.org/
Founded by a group of film collectors, archivists and home movie enthusiasts, Home Movies Day is an event that takes place on just one day a year, all over the world. This year – in multiple locations in the United States as well as Thailand, Canada, Spain, Finland, Germany, Argentina, and beyond – it all happens on Saturday, October 16.
John Waters has this to say about the once-a-year event:
“There’s no such thing as a bad home movie. These mini-underground opuses are revealing, scary, joyous, always flawed, filled with accidental art and shout out from attics and closets all over the world to be seen again. Home Movie Day is an orgy of self-discovery, a chance for family memories to suddenly become show business. If you’ve got one, whip it out and show it now.”
Long story short, this group’s vision is to create an awareness and appreciation of family film legacies, and in turn pass on some lessons about preserving footage for as long as possible.
Events happen at community centers, libraries or any available community-oriented building, and are hosted by volunteers. Check their site for an event near you, and make sure you bring your film archives. An expert will be on the scene to check your film reels for common problems. If you choose, one of your film reels can be shown at the event. I would strongly suggest you visit their site; you’ll find lots of information about the event itself, links to home movies-related web sites, as well as film transfer labs all over country.
There’s also a great FAQ on the site. Here’s a quote:
“Q: Nobody really wants to see my dumb old home movies, do they?
A: Sure they do, otherwise Home Movie Day wouldn’t be happening. Lots of people are interested in home movies—of completely normal people, doing completely normal things—for lots of really good reasons. Home movies from just a few years ago show a world that looks pretty different from the one we live in now: kids rode their bikes without helmets on; men wore hats and spats, and women wore gloves and girdles; public beaches and facilities in the South were segregated—these are just a few examples! Seeing this world in home movies is useful for historians, writers, documentary filmmakers, costume designers, and even the ordinary people who live in those same (but somehow different) places today. If your home movies depict the everyday life of people of color, the differently abled, or others who continue to be under-represented in commercial films and on TV, we think it is especially important that they be shown.
Also, you may be surprised to find that your “dumb old home movies” aren’t like you remember them at all—they might have pictures of family members, friends, or places you haven’t seen or thought about in a long time. We think they’re definitely worth a look!”
So really, how can you resist? I know I can’t. In fact, this year I’ll be volunteering at the Cambridge, Massachusetts event.
My goal is to host an event in 2011 somewhere in the Boston Metrowest area, so stay tuned.
In the meantime, please join me in Cambridge on October 16th!
Luis C Reis.