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. the WFPF’s goal is to ensure that the contributions of women to film history are not forgotten. To date the WFPF has preserved a remarkable spectrum of more than one
hundred American films in which women play key creative roles. These include works by early feminists, women of color, social activists and artists that represent a unique and irreplaceable part of our nation’s cultural legacy. The films already preserved range from Barbara Koppel’s Harlan County USA (1976) and Cinda Firestone’s Attica (1974) to productions by pioneering early film directors Lois Weber and Alice Guy Blaché.
2014 Grants Awarded
Tramp Strategy (1911)
|Filmmaker Alice Guy Blache|
Directed by Alice Guy Blaché
Alice Guy-Blaché was cinema’s first female director and studio owner. In Tramp Strategy Pollie seeks to marry her suitor despite her father¹s disapproval. She, along with her maid and suitor, creates a complex plan: the suitor will dress up as a tramp and rescue Pollie from a near-death experience, thus
gaining her father’s approval. However, the plan is overheard by a real tramp who decides he wants to be the hero. This film illustrates Guy-Blanché¹s innovative stylistic devices, particularly her attention to mise-en-scène, color and lighting.
The Student Nurses (1970)
Co-Written, Co-Produced, Directed by Stephanie Rothman
Rothman is one of the few women who worked within the Hollywood exploitation cinema of the late 1960s and 1970s, directing several genre evocative titles including It’s a Bikini World (1967), The Velvet Vampire (1971) and Group Marriage (1973). The Student Nurses follows four attractive young training nurses as they assess and re-assess their personal and career priorities and the often-amorous attentions of male interns and doctors. It is both a comedy of manners and an analysis of friendship and labor. The film provides an opportunity to discuss how Rothman’s work examined sexual politics and identity, discrimination, and authoritarianism.
Produced, Directed and edited by Victoria Hochberg
A train’s high-speed run from New York to Washington is intercut with images from the past: a man in a derby waits to cross the track; women file out of a factory in mid-summer. The documentary component of the film explores present-day bureaucracies in the railroad industries, as the politics of the railroad industry merges onscreen with the political history of America.
Aftermaths: Some Food May Be Found in the Desert (1976)
Filmmaker, Andrea Callard
Callard is a photographer and filmmaker. She was active in the New York downtown arts scene during the 1970s and 1980s where she participated in the creation of the well-known artists’ group, Collaborative Projects popularly known as Collab. Some Food May Be Found in the Desert is one of three atmospheric super-8mm films by that mine various spatial, cultural and natural landscapes of downtown New York during the economic recession of the seventies represented through the personal and political viewpoint of young woman.
The Women's Film Preservation fund is supported by Cineric
Inc., Kodak, The New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Council,
the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Film Foundation, and
Four Ways to Support the Fund
- Apply for a WFPF grant.
- Donate what you can or select a support level.
- Shop in our store for a piece of cinema history.
- Join the committee (email Kirsten Larvick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Reception and update to take place on Wednesday, February 19th from 6:30 - 8:30 at the NYWIFT offices at 6 East 39th Street.
- The WFPF received numerous applications on October 1 for the 2013-2014 Grants Cycle. Winners will be announced in April.
- In February 2013, WFPF launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise money to preserve Seven Women Seven Sins (1986) directed by Maxi Cohen, Helke Sander, Bette Gordon, Chantal Akerman, Valie Export, Laurence Gavron, and Ulrike Ottinger. Check it out!
- In August 2012, WFPF unveiled a new video highlighting its preservation work. The video (above) includes footage from Barbara Kopple's Oscar-winning documentary Harlan County U.S.A. (1976), That Man of Mine (1947) starring Ruby Dee, and You Are Not I (1981) by Sara Driver, among many others.
- On July 1, 2012, Susan Lazarus represented the WFPF at the celebration of the birth of the first woman director, Alice Guy Blache, and the unveiling of a new grave marker from the Fort Lee Film Commission in NJ.
- On June 25, 2012, the WFPF was proud to be honored by Anthology Film Archives at its annual Film Preservation Honors.
Since its inception, the WFPF has provided financial support for preservation of over 100 short and feature films. WFPF awards cash grants, as well as in-kind post-production services generously provided by Cineric, Inc., to preserve or restore films in which women have played a significant creative role.
- To identify and preserve American films in which women have played a significant creative role
- To present these restored films publicly as a way to increase awareness of women's contribution to the medium and the importance of film preservation
- To contribute to enhanced knowledge of the important role of women in film history
- To work with organizations with similar goals, sharing resources and information
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?
The Legacy of Women Filmmakers
- Creation of new prints or negatives
- Film inspection and repair
- Restoration of pictures and/or soundtrack
- Duplication of the original film onto more stable safety film stock
- Provision of proper storage with controlled temperature and humidity
- Public access through screenings and educational programing
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:
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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.