From the Vault: Introduction to Archiving and Preservation for Film and Video

The Women’s Film Preservation Fund (WFPF) and UnionDocs (UNDO) wraps up the the film series From the Vault: Women’s Advocacy on Film with a panel discussion devoted to the preservation of film.


Introduction to Archiving and Preservation for Film and Video
Thursday, June 21st, 2018, 7:30pm

Now that you’ve finished your documentary feature and it is a file on your hard drive, have you thought about how to make sure it will last? Do you have a movie, shot on film, that can no longer be shown because the print is in tatters and no one is screening 16mm anymore? Do you have a documentary master on an obsolescent videotape format? Have you ever wondered if storing your film, video or digital work in your home or studio is a good idea, and why placing it in an archive will ensure its longevity?

Once a production has been completed documentarians are often consumed with their next project. Although intention exists to keep the work alive for the long run — preservation and accessibility maintenance is another job in and of itself, and a line item that isn’t usually included in production budgets. Sustainability of one’s body of work is essential to our shared discipline, to keep our stories in the conversation, to maintain its relevancy and aid each artist’s livelihood.

Join Women’s Film Preservation Fund, UnionDocs and other archival and preservation collaborators to get answers to some of these questions in an introductory presentation on archiving and preserving film and video. This event offers a basic overview and first steps for the long-term safeguarding of motion pictures, making work accessible for exhibition and monetization over a lifetime.


Photo Credit: Erik Tanner/Getty

Rufus de Rham is the Programming Operations Manager at Film Society of Lincoln Center where he manages the print traffic and technical projection operations. He also programs film festivals and series, such as Sound + Vision, My First Film Festival, Scary Movies, New York Asian Film Festival, Old School Kung Fu Festival and more. He holds a MA in Moving Image Archiving and Preservation from New York University and has worked on archival projects for institutions such as NYU, Democracy Now!, the September 11 Television Archive, The Joint Jewish Distribution Center, BronxNet, Activist Archivists, Video at Risk, and Third World Newsreel.

Caroline Gil is a media archivist, with experience working with artists, cultural heritage institutions, private art collectors, and non-profits. Caroline is currently a Fellow in Media Conservation at The Museum of Modern Art, and has worked at the Wildlife Conservation Society, Smithsonian’s Center for Folklore and Cultural Heritage, the New Art Trust, New York Public Library, Third World Newsreel, Allied Productions, Filmoteca Cataluña, and with media artists’ personal collections. She is a graduate of NYU’s Moving Image Archiving and Preservation Program, holds a Director of Cinematography MA from Universidad de Barcelona-ESCAC and BA in Visual Arts. (via SKYPE)

Kelly Haydon
 is the Audiovisual Archivist for the Special Collections within New York University’s Bobst Library. Previously, she was the Preservation Manager at Bay Area Video Coalition. She holds degrees from NYU’s Moving Image Archiving and Preservation Program (where she is also an adjunct professor) and the School of Visual Arts. She volunteers as a media archivist for XFR Collective and Third World Newsreel.

Bill Seery is the Director of Preservation Services for The Standby Program. He has over 30 years of experience in sound design, editing and mixing for film, video, radio and multimedia as the owner and operator of Mercer Media. For the past 20 years he has been active in the conservation and restoration of time based media including audio and moving image materials, and installation art. In partnership with The Standby Program, he created the first not for profit magnetic media preservation center on the East Coast working to conserve the collections of institutions including Hallwalls, Electronic Arts Intermix, Experimental Television Center, Franklin Furnace, Anthology Film Archives, NYU Fales Library, The Martha Graham Dance Company, The Wooster Group and the works of individual artists including James Nares, Beryl Korot, Carolee Schneeman, Vito Acconci, David Wojnarowicz, Henry Hills and Nam June Paik.

Pamela Cruz (Moderator) is an archives executive with extensive global experience in assessment, organization, preservation, and management of asset collections. Her career has included being chief strategist for the National Historic Preservation Center, Girl Scouts of the USA; vice president of archival services, Miramax Films; antiques manager, Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation and an advisor for private collections. During her years at Miramax, she was responsible for the inception of the Miramax Archives Department, creating archive databases, and systems for archival tracking and storage for Miramax and Dimension Films. She worked with an array of asset collections in Italy, France, Romania, Mexico and the U.S., as well as on leveraging use of archives, including for museum exhibits, publications and media. Cruz has served on the Board of Directors of Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York, Inc. (A.R.T.) as vice president responsible for monthly programming and later as president. She is currently the A.R.T. representative to the Regional Archival Associations Consortium for Society of American Archivists for 2016 – 2018. Cruz is a member of New York Women in Film and Television, where she is on the Women’s Film Preservation Fund steering committee. She recently completed a tenure on the board of directors for IndieCollect, whose mission is to preserve and make accessible independent American films. In 2017 Cruz was appointed to the 15-member NYC Archives, Research and Reference Advisory Board by Mayor de Blasio.

This series is curated by
WFPF Co-Chair Kirsten Larvick,
with programming assistance from
Co-Chair Ann Deborah Levy and Raquel Salazar-Foster

Special Thanks
Christopher Allen and Jenny Miller


The Women’s Film Preservation Fund (WFPF) is the only program in the world dedicated to preserving the cultural legacy of women in the industry through preserving films made by women. Founded in 1995 by NYWIFT in conjunction with the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), WFPF has preserved more than 130 American films, across all genres, in which women have played key creative roles. The WFPF is rewriting the film history books, by saving one moving picture at a time.

UnionDocs (UNDO)
 is a non-profit Center for Documentary Art that presents and produces pioneering records of reality. The organization brings together a diverse community of activist artists, experimental media-makers, dedicated journalists, big thinkers, and local partners. UnionDocs is on a search for urgent expressions of the human experience, practical perspectives on the world today, and compelling visions for the future.

June 21 @ 7:00pm
7:00 pm — 9:00 pm (2h)

UnionDocs 322 Union Ave Brooklyn NY

Join the conversation on social media:
#nywift | @nywift

NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.