Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Donna Ross Really Exists: Or, how to nominate a film to the National Film Registry

Donna Ross of the Library of Congress with These Amazing Shadows co-director Paul Mariano.
The National Film Registry clock is ticking. If you want to nominate a film to be considered for the 2011 selections to the National Film Registry now is the time to make your move. It is a very simple process to nominate/vote for a film.
There are a few simple rules:
1) The film must be at least ten years old. (That means Gladiator is now eligible!)
2) The film must be "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant." (That may sound lofty, but don't forget - Animal House, Blazing Saddles and The Producers have met that standard.)
3) The film must be American, or at least have some sort of relatively significant American involvement. (Example of a film on the NFR that stretches the "American" involvement: Lawrence of Arabia.)

Once you have decided on a film you want to nominate you should check to make sure it is not already on the National Film Registry. The Library of Congress maintains a complete list of the 550 film on Wikipeida at the following link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Film_Registry
Okay, you've discovered that your nominee is not on the NFR, so what do you do next? You should write a short statement on why the film is important to you or to American culture. You don't need to sound like a film scholar - just write from the heart and try to be somewhat coherent.

Then, (drum roll please) you email it to Donna Ross at the Library of Congress
You can send it by the US Postal Service to the following address:
Donna Ross, Boards Assistant
National Film Preservation Board
Library of Congress
Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation
19053 Mt. Pony Road
Culpeper, VA 22701-7551

In this world of faceless bureaucrats it is refreshing to know that when you send in your nomination it will go to a very specific person - namely, Donna Ross. Donna works at the Library of Congress' Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation in Culpeper, VA. We first met Donna in November 2009 and have found her to be a very nice, hard-working person with a good sense of humor.
National Film Registry Nomination Information Website: http://www.loc.gov/film/vote.html

The 2011 National Film Registry selections will be announced on or about December 28, 2011. By a planned coincidence, These Amazing Shadows, will have its premiere national broadcast on December 29, 2011 as part of the PBS series, Independent Lens, which will be hosted this year by Mary-Louise Parker. Check your local listings.


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