Mar 27, 2013

Thank you note from the Albanian part of ACP:)

From: Iris Elezi  
March 27, 2013 

Dear all, 

I've always believed that during this transitional period, the only true success story out of the Albanian lands has been Dokufest - the international documentary and short film festival in Prizren, Kosovo. 

In these past 12 years, their superb programming and persevering dedication against all odds, has already made them one of the top 25 documentary film festivals in the world.  

Exactly a year ago, when we started what became The Albanian Cinema Project, we were all aware that it was 
going to be a long term project and that it would acquire endless amount of effort to overcome all obstacles.   

Little did we know, that in just this first year ACP will gather such 'momentum' - for this is what we initially called all these great strides we've achieved day after day after day. 

At first we believed we were alone and cut off from the big world as the invisible enemy of the vinegar syndrome risked the wealth of films in the AQSHF vaults. Most people we contacted simply told us to join the long line of other Eastern European countries facing the same issues.

Yet, we continued... until comforting words came from Tilda Swinton, Mark Cousins, and our fantastic life saver, the superwoman and archivist, Regina Longo.  

For months Regina kept emailing and Skype calling the archivist of AQSHF, counselling them on all the aspects needed, til the day she herself arrived with Roxanne in Tirana's archive.

What followed, most of you are already aware:)  

We always believed in the power of film to unite film professionals, academics and archivists to do the impossible: Helping to save a whole's country archive (!) yet we could never imagine what Regina and all the ACP board members and supporters managed in just one year!

Thanks again to Stephen Parr for fiscally sponsoring our project so needed funds can be raised for Colorlab and the other labs that will collaborate with us in the future. 

Yes, things did happen fast and improbable deadlines were met, and the response to the wonderful job Colorlab did of the 1st restored film, NENTORI I DYTE, has been overwhelming. 

The actors and the DP himself couldn't believe their eyes: what they saw was indeed even better than the original material in its premiere back in 1982! For the 1st time in an Albanian film I saw lush colors as if it were
a Kubrick film.

So thank you again Nancy & Russ and everyone in the amazing team at Colorlab: Dean, Adam, Kevin, Eleanor, 
Laura, Chris & Jake!

You all helped us understand that in Albania's case, due to the lack of proper chemicals from mid 1970s - on, we are not doing just restoring... 

As Thomas often says, these films have secrets in them, so together we are resurrecting treasures we are not fully aware off, yet they are there. 

I'm using mostly first names for in this short time we have became part of each others life, even though some of us have yet to meet in person:)  

Thank you again to the Association of Moving Image Archivists, president Caroline Frick and ACP board member Dennis Doros, who recognized the value and the importance of our project, and dedicated a whole day in the AMIA conference in Seattle for Regina and Eriona of AQSHF to present the journey of ACP this past January. 

And what a journey it has already been! In November when Regina and Roxanne returned, this time with the 
restored version on NENTORI I DYTE and Ken Weissman and JeanP., they had to even overcome the storm that closed many airports in the East coast.  

Their contribution, along with the dedication of our friend, Mark Cousins, is still felt in various ACP endeavours. 

That day, in November 3rd, when the ACP board member, Artan Minarolli, gave us the perfect platform to screen the restoration, all of us sat in different seats around the theater to better feel the audience. And it was electric! 

Humbly, when in front- we didn't mention the name of ACP as much as maybe we could have; we simply let the work speak for itself.  These many months later, we have reasons to smile, for in today's screening ACP is the name that will just-fully remain in everyone's head.
Personally I think it is only fitting that this US Premiere of NENTORI I DYTE is happening at NYU.  Thank you to ACP's Dan Streible for your hard work in arranging this and also restoring two other 16mm shorts from the RTSH archive.

While studying at NYU I wondered often when Albania will also be mentioned in classes, and as of yesterday thanks to Dan, Regina, Thomas and Fatmir a whole class was dedicated to ACP's efforts. 

Yes, dreams come true when amazing people come together and put their minds and hearts to a selfless cause!

To this long list of thank you's, I have to add Andrea McCarty for making it possible for the Albanian-American community to experience the 1st ACP restoration.  I know in my heart it will be an unforgettable experience for all.

For such is always the outcome of so much work, vision and sleepless nights. So many wonderful people and 
institutions working for the same goal, which now thanks to Regina's speed of light have grown: to five films restored in five years! 
Thank you all and more extra thanks to Elvira, Eriona and all at AQSHF, Fation, Ela, Sarah, Rain, and so many more, who together have helped in making ACP the new success story coming out of these lands! 

When I imagine the work that lays ahead, I smile knowing that ACP will in the years to come bring Albanian cinema and filmmakers to new audiences everywhere. I rejoice at the fact that even the film I'm preparing, BOTA, will somehow help the archive situation.  

And I know that in the next twenty years, even if ACP is not mentioned in the Katz film encyclopedia:) it will most definitely be part of the history books of this tiny country not so far away with so much of misunderstood history to share.      

Iris Elezi


Mar 25, 2013

China Independent Film Festival, Zhang Xianmin Talk: March 31

       I'm hosting an talk by Prof Zhang Xianmin (Beijing Film Academy), the president of the China Independent Film Festival this Sunday at 2PM.  
-- Xin Zhou | 周昕 

What's Next? 
9+ Years of the China Independent Film Festival 
A Conversation with Zhang Xianmin

Sunday, March 31
2:00 - 4:00 pm

269 Kent Ave, Brooklyn 
(L to Bedford Ave.)
Admission: $5 at the door

Founded in 2003 in Nanjing, the China Independent Film Festival (CIFF) has been one of the most vital platforms to showcase independent films in China."Independent" has gradually replaced "underground" (a label much protested by the filmmakers) in the public discourse since 2003 when the state administration began to lift the ban on the then called "6th generation"directors, to refer to the films that do not acquire the official approval for public distribution. After its early struggles, CIFF thrived into an impassioned arena for independent filmmakers, curators, academics and cineastes, with a prolific profile of both productions and publications. But everything was brought to a halt last year. In the second half of 2012, all independent film festivals in China were cancelled at short notice due to the party congress. "Police stepped up to invite us for tea (interrogations for deterrent purposes), creating a climate of intense fear. Nobody escaped: all our employees, our partners, sponsors, universities which hold forums, journalists..." 

Prof Zhang Xianmin, president of the China Independent Film Festival, as well as a productive curator, writer and actor, is going to talk about the brief history of CIFF as well as the digital turn of the Chinese independent film scene in early 2000s, the current challenges of CIFF, the possibilities of Chinese independent cinema as he has observed during his tenure with the festival, the best and worst of times for the independent cinema in China. 

"It seems to me that it is the gathering that the officials are trying to stop. They could be alarmed by the content of any individual film, but what scares them is the rally, not cinema." - Zhang Xianmin 

/*Speaker's Bio*/

Born in 1964, Nanjing, Zhang Xianmin graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University in China, 1985; Paris Sorbonne III in France, 1987; and FEMIS in France, 1992. He is a professor of Beijing Film Academy, film critic, curator, as well as president of China Independent Film Festival (CIFF). Zhang Xianmin founded the Indie Workshop in 2005 - an organization for the production and promotion of independent films in China. He also initiated the Chinese Independent Film Foundation in 2010. He has served on the jury and selection committee for numerous international film festivals including: Independent Film and Video in Asia, Asian Documentary Network of the Busan International Film Festival, International Documentary Film Festival in Rome, and Cinema Digital Seoul Film Festival. He has authored books such as ALL ABOUT DV and UNSEEN CINEMA; produced over 10 independent films including RAISED FROM DUST, CROSSROADS, CANDY, BIRD ISLAND, FUJIAN BLUE; and acted in films SUMMER PALACE (dir. Lou Ye, 2008) and RAIN CLOUDS OVER WUSHAN (dir. Zhang Ming, 1996). 


Presented by Xin Zhou, M.A. Candidate in Cinema Studies, NYU Tisch
Organized by RAN SPACE, A platform geared towards promotion and communication of the art in intercultural contexts. With flexible showing room, multimedia stage, pleasant atmosphere, RAN SPACE is looking forward to every possible intersection of art or not-yet art, creating an intellectual community for rising artists, filmmakers, musicians, and culture practitioners, especially the big Asian family.


Mar 20, 2013

FREE: The US Premiere of "Nëntori i dytë" (The Second November) - Wednesday, March 27

Gentle colleagues, 

I'm particularly excited about this March 27 (free) screening of the Albanian film The Second November, newly restored by Colorlab and the Albanian Cinema Project, founded by our gentle colleague, Regina Longo. 

Hope to see you there. Admission is free, but you must e-mail requests for seats in advance. 


NYU's Department of Cinema Studies presents

The US Premiere of
Nëntori i dytë (The Second November)

1982, 93 minutes, dir. Viktor Gjika
Followed by a discussion on the state of Albanian film preservation with Albanian filmmaker Fatmir Koci, Albanian American film producer and screenwriter Thomas Logoreci, Colorlab CEO Russ Suniewick, and Albanian Cinema Project director Regina Longo.

Wednesday, March 27, 6:15pm
NYU Tisch School of the Arts
Department of Cinema Studies
721 Broadway, 6th Floor, Michelson Theater

***Please RSVP to

Most Albanian films made before 1991 were never translated into another language and are rarely screened outside of Albania. The Albanian Cinema Project's (ACP) newly launched preservation initiative is changing this fact, bringing a 'new' national cinema to international screens.

Our digital restoration of Viktor Gjika's 1982 patriotic drama Nëntori i dytë was completed just in time to celebrate 100 years of Albanian Independence from Ottoman rule (1912-2012). It premiered to a packed house at the 13th Festival of Albanian Film in Tirana, on November 3, 2102. And now, for the first time, will play for US audiences in the first ever English language adaption of Gjika's socialist realist epic, restored by Colorlab Corp.

Be part of the first American audience to screen Nëntori i dytë, and to hear firsthand accounts from Albanian filmmaker Fatmir Koci (Tirana Year Zero, 2001; Land of the Eagles, 2007; Time of the Comet, 2008), Albanian American film producer and screenwriter Thomas Logoreci, ACP Director Regina Longo, and Russ Suniewick, CEO of Colorlab Corp, who have formed ACP to help save and restore Albania's film heritage.

The campaign to relocate the collections of the Albanian national film archives to a new, mold-free facility is at the heart of our mission. Working with the support of the Albanian Ministry of Culture, the US Embassy in Tirana, the Association of Moving Image Archivists, the Orphan Film Symposium, the Library of Congress Audiovisual Archives and the Albanian American National Organization, the Albanian Cinema Project is dedicated to preserving, restoring, and promoting Albanian film heritage.

Co-sponsored by Wesleyan University and the Albanian Cinema Project.


Dan Streible |  (917) 754-1401 
Assoc. Professor of Cinema Studies & Director of Graduate Studies
Moving Image Archiving & Preservation Program, Assoc. Director
Orphan Fim Symposium, director,
NYU | Tisch School of the Arts | Department of Cinema Studies

* AMPAS Orphan Film Showcase @ Academy Film Archive, Hollywood, CA, May 10-11, 2013
** Orphans Midwest @ IU Cinema, Bloomington, IN, Sept. 26-28, 2013
*** Orphan 9, The Future of Obsolescence, @ EYE, Amsterdam, March 30 - April 2, 2014

Mar 14, 2013

"Interesting article!" -- Matt Prigge

Matt Prigge <> writes:

There's an interview by film critic Glenn Kenny with restoration whiz James White that was just today posted. Touches on a lot of what we've talked about and read in class: 

"Fillm Restoration In The Digital Domain: A Chat With James White,"

from Some Came Running (one of those foo-foo film sites), March 14, 2013. 

Mar 8, 2013

Fwd: SYNONYM FOR UNTITLED @ Whitney Museum, Friday March 15

From: Andrew Lampert <>


Below is info about a new performance that I'm staging at the Whitney Museum on Friday, March 15th. It goes from 6pm till roughly 9pm and is conveniently being presented on the pay-what-you-wish night. Also, the Jay DeFeo retro there is truly fantastic. To see a picture and read this text again please visit:



Inspired by the museum's offices, storage spaces, gift shop, and restaurant, Untitled, artist Andrew Lampert presents a special opportunity for Museum-goers to patronize the Whitney during an immersive evening of live performance and culinary conception. It will be an earnest attempt to forge a new model for museum-going that, at long last, finally acknowledges the cafe and bookstore as primary components of the audience experience. A dinner-length experiment, SYNONYM FOR UNTITLED is built around a tasting menu specially prepared by Chef Chris Bradley. Lampert created a grocery list/score for Bradley that makes associative pairings between artists in the Whitney's collection and ingredients (Ed Ruscha is butter, Robert Mapplethorpe is a jalapeno pepper). Neither a reality show nor dinner theater, SYNONYM also features contributions from poet Mónica de la Torre, musicians Okkyung Lee and C. Spencer Yeh, and Felix Bernstein. Expect multi-sensory stimulation and simultaneity galore. SYNONYM FOR UNTITLED is not so much a happening as it is an experience.

The show will also serve as the launch for a limited-edition postcard set created by Lampert. Available for purchase in the Whitney Museum shop while supplies last.

Entry to the performance is free with Museum admission. Restaurant seating is first-come, first-served and will begin at 5:45 pm and continue until 8:15 pm. All food and drink are additional costs. Please note: Pay-what-you-wish begins at 6 pm. Join today as a Member! Members enjoy complimentary and express entry to the Museum. 

Mar 6, 2013

2013 Thesis Presentations

And it's all FREE!

The 2013 MIAP thesis presentation schedule + descriptions are posted here:


Monday March 25

10-11:30am Shira Peltzman, Room 648

Unlocking the DCP: Evaluating the Risks, Preservation, and Long-Term Management of Digital Cinema Packages in Audiovisual Archives

Tuesday March 26

10-11:30am Kathryn Gronsbell, Room 648

WITNESSing change: the Organizing Community-Accessible Audiovisual Preservation Training for Archiving and Information Needs (O-CAAPTAIN) model

Wednesday March 27

10-11:30am Christopher Banuelos, Room 648

Hooked on Codecs: An Examination and Explanation of What Codecs Do, How They Work, and What This Means for Repositories

Thursday March 28

10-11:30am Federica Liberi, Room 648

Digital Restoration Workflow: A Comparative Study

2-3:30pm Erica Titkemeyer, Room 674

Assembling the Fragments, Accessing the Silenced: The Status of Queer Memory Institutions with a Focus on Moving Image and Audio Materials

6-7:30pm Kristin MacDonough Room 648

Preserve Your Cake and Eat it Too: Issues in the Preservation and Conservation of Video Games

Friday March 29

10-11:30am Juana Suárez, Room 648

Film Archives, Cultural History and the Digital Turn in Latin America

2-3:30pm Pawrisa Nipawattanapong, Room 670

Archiving Issues of Television Stations: Planning for and Preserving Video Collections

4-5:30pm Rebecca Fraimow, Room 670

Building Archives Of Our Own: Amateur Repositories for Digital Remix Video

6-7:30pm Dan Erdman, Room 670

Let's Go Stag! How to Archive Dirty Movies with a Clean Conscience

Presentations will be 45 minutes to 1 hour, followed by a Q&A, and are open to the public.

Mar 1, 2013

Milestone visits: the GRASS class

Date: Wed, Feb 27, 2013 at 9:01 AM
PS: That was really fun. 
Amy Heller. President. Milestone Films 

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dennis Doros <>
Date: Wed, Feb 27, 2013 at 8:01 AM

I'm so glad she liked the class and the film. When we showed GRASS in Pordenone in the Cooper-Schoedsack series in 2003, everybody but Kevin Brownlow was astonished and wanted to know why they never heard of the film. Since we had been distributing it for 15 years, this took me by surprise! So I like to bring it out every now and then.

Please tell your students they're always welcome to email and ask questions. We like to follow up with students as the years go by. And as importantly, I'm really glad Amy got to participate. She's just getting her feet wet with last year's Home Movie Day, meeting a few of the Selznick students and now your class. I'd love her to be a larger part of the archival world.

Dennis Doros
Milestone Film & Video/Milliarium Zero
PO Box 128 / Harrington Park, NJ 07640
Phone: 201-767-3117 / Email:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Maria Vinogradova
I just wanted to say that Grass was absolutely fantastic! One of the most impressive films I've seen in a while. Also, I enjoyed watching Dennis Doros and Amy Heller videos online, but had no idea that they would be present live in the class. What they do and the way they do it is a really inspiring example. Thank you for a great class!