Scorsese: ‘Collaboration will help ensure the survival of our collective film heritage’

If the Orphan Film Symposium isn’t on your radar yet, here’s something that might catch your eye.

Orphans MidwestLegendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese, who serves as president of nonprofit film preservation organization The Film Foundation, has issued a statement supporting the symposium.

The Midwestern version of the symposium will take place right here on the IU Bloomington campus Sept. 26 to 28. Orphans Midwest is sponsored by IU Cinema, the IU Libraries Film Archives and the NYU Cinema Studies/Tisch School of the Arts, as well as various other IU departments and schools. Other symposia are scheduled later on both the East and West coasts and overseas.

“The recognition that the world’s archives need to protect ‘orphan films’ has become one of the most challenging aspects of film preservation,” Scorsese said in his letter. “As president of The Film Foundation, I urge everyone with an interest in this project to support and to participate in the Orphan Film Symposium. This academic-archival-artistic collaboration will help ensure the survival of our collective film heritage and generate greater awareness of the need to preserve motion picture history.”

So what are orphan films? Neglected cinematic artifacts, rarities and rediscoveries fall into the category, including unreleased films, educational movies, censored material, medical film, surveillance footage and student works, among other things.

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