At the start of the 2005-06 academic year, George Eastman House’s Selznick School of Film Preservation will be offering a two year master’s program in film preservation in conjunction with UR. The new program will build on the current 10-month certificate program by incorporating English and Film Studies classes at UR into the hands-on archive study students gain at George Eastman House. In the first year of study, students will learn correct handling, cleaning and general conservation of film by becoming completely immersed in the house’s vast 25,000 title archive. For the first half of the year they will be assigned a rotation of faculty who will both serve as teachers and supervisors to their work. Administrator of George Eastman House Jeffery Stoiber explained that the program “opens up a variety of fields” for students which can include one day becoming a curator at film archive or working in a motion picture preservation lab. According to Assistant Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in English Hal Gladfelder, “[In the second year] students in the M.A. program will take a range of classes in film history, criticism and theory.” Gladfelder explained that this course work “will enrich the work the students are doing in the areas of film preservation and archive management by giving them a comprehensive background in the history of cinema and the broad range of films with which they will be working.” The culmination of these two years of study will be a Master’s essay. Gladfelder said the UR English Department and the Film Studies Program teamed up with the Selznick School “in order to strengthen ties between the two institutions.” “We all felt that there is a need to train professionals in the fields of film and media preservation who have a strong training in film history and theory, because knowledge of these fields is increasingly essential to those who work in archives, museums and preservation facilities,” he said.Stoiber described the merging of the two institutions for this new program as “natural” because faculty members at George Eastman House frequently teach film classes at UR. “What’s great about this program is it combines both the theoretical and the practical,” he said. The students will also be treated to many guest lecturers on various topics. In addition, they will frequently travel to film giant Kodak’s plant to learn about film and see labs, which are the only thing George Eastman House lacks. Stoiber explains that “Rochester has a lot of strength” and Kodak is not the only place in Rochester that has power in film. Rochester Institute of Technology is home to state of the art imaging equipment and preservation materials, which the students will also see. Issues such as copyright law and grant writing will also be taught to create a well-rounded program which will prepare the students to one day become curators of a film archive. Stoiber explains that most people who complete this program work in motion picture archives preserving aging films. A Selznick graduate, Andrew Lampert is now the archivist at Anthology Film Archives in New York City. He will be giving a lecture at George Eastman House on Sept. 25. The topic of his discussion will be “The Essential Cinema, The Unessential Cinema.” Other upcoming events at the George Eastman House include “The Lost World,” which the George Eastman House has preserved, on Sept. 28 and “The Brown Bunny” on Oct. 2. George Eastman House will also host various films for the Annual ImageOut Festival from Oct. 8-17. The ImageOut programs in the Youth Project Film series are free to anyone under 21 with appropriate ID. Arico can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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