Women's Film Preservation Fund
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. It was founded in 1995 by NYWIFT in conjunction with the Museum of Modern Art.
Four Ways to Support the Fund
We are committed to restoring and preserving films and footage that represent diverse voices, visions and techniques regardless of vintage. Genres include silent and early color films, experimental and independent films, and political and social documentaries. WFPF also preserves "orphan films"—forgotten or neglected films that have no clear copyright holder, obscuring the responsibility for preservation.
Individuals and not-for-profit organizations (film archives, educational institutions, media arts centers) are eligible to apply for grants of up to $10,000. Grants are awarded annually. Applications are due in the fall. A panel of professional filmmakers, film historians, preservationists, curators, and educators reviews all applications and their selections are announced the following spring.
What Is Film Preservation?
Women were part of the film industry from its inception, working on both coasts as directors, producers, and studio heads, as well as actors. Alice Guy-Blaché is considered one of the first people—male or female—to direct a narrative film. WFPF helped to preserve two of her shorts, Matrimony's Speed Limit and A House Divided (1913) as part of its inaugural project. Mixed Pets (1911), Guy-Blaché’s earliest extant film from her studio Solax, was preserved through a WFPF grant in 2009, and screened, along with three other WFPF films, at the 2009 Alice Guy Blaché retrospective at the Whitney Museum. Our other inaugural project was the preservation of two films by Lois Weber, the 1913 short How Men Propose and the 1921 feature Too Wise Wives.
There isn't enough money to save all the films that are in danger of being lost. Film archives, museums and educational educations have to make difficult decisions about which films will and will not be saved. WFPF exists to make sure that films by women are included in those that are preserved for posterity.
The WFPF is funded, in part, by:
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 Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.