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Film Reference Library wants your home movies

If you're anywhere near my age, you probably grew up right in the initial boom of home video - that halcyon era of blown out light sources, greenish skin tones and over-the-shoulder battery packs to fuel VHS-based camcorders. Result: the crappiest home movies in the long, sad history of home movies.

A format generation or so before VHS, however, home movies were still being shot on Super-8, 16mm, and other actual celluloid-based media. If you're lucky enough to have some heirlooms along those lines in your family, the Film Reference Library wants to see it, and might even make a screening out of it.

Starting today (and running until July 20), the Film Reference Library is inviting the public to bring their home movies for inspection and evaluation. And to make it weirder, all films inspected will also be considered for inclusion in a special 2-hour screening on August 11th, to celebrate the 5th annual International Home Movie Day.

Wait a minute. There's an International Home Movie Day?!

Can you imagine embarassing pre-video footage of you and your kid brother playing bare-ass naked in the frog pool, blown up sky high and projected at Cinematheque Ontario? I can, and it makes me shudder. But the idea of seeing something that my late grandfather shot on his rinky-dink Super-8 camera back in 1977 out of his sheer love of the photographic medium going on to get a public screening at one of our most prestigious cinematic shrines makes me warm inside.

Home Movie Day will run from noon till 5 on August 11th, with free admission. The free film inspection program accepts work on 8mm, Super-8mm, 16mm, and video (only if the work was originated on film and the originals no longer exist or aren't going to withstand projection).


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