Vintage Movie Night with Richard Hall: Selections From the National Film Preservation Board

Mar 08, 2018 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM EST


Local documentary filmmaker Richard Hall will share a selection of short films from the National Film Preservation Foundation’s 135 Online Field Guide to Sponsored Films. From a silent 1897 cigarette ad, to Men and Dust, a 1940 labor film about the dangers of mining, to a 1950 animated pro-business propaganda film in Technicolor, these “ephemeral” films often go overlooked in the study of film history. Please join us for this popular series.

Online Field Guide to Sponsored Films

In 2006 the National Film Preservation Foundation published The Field Guide to Sponsored Films by Rick Prelinger. Made possible by a grant from the Mellon Foundation, this annotated filmography singles out 452 sponsored films of particular historical, cultural, and artistic interest from the more than 300,000 thought to have been made. From animated propaganda in Technicolor to a call for racial tolerance from Frank Sinatra, these films often go overlooked in the study of film history. Made by corporations, schools, medical organizations, religious groups, political entities, and more, these films were produced to record, orient, train, sell, and persuade. 

Calling attention to these films was the first step. Because most films in the guide are unavailable for study and those that can be viewed are often available only in subpar viewing quality, the NFPF has partnered with the Library of Congress and the Internet Archive to make 135 films featured in the guide available for viewing, with most also available for free download. Also contributing to this digital access project are A/V Geeks, George Eastman Museum, Hagley Museum and Library, The Museum of Modern Art, National Archives and Records Administration, Northeast Historic Film, Orgone Archive, Prelinger Archives, Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, UCLA Film & Television Archive, and USC School of Cinematic Arts Hugh M. Hefner Moving Image Archive.

Online Collection:


In addition to being Co-Host of the Documentary Roundtable and a Docs In Progress teaching artist, Richard Hall is also a documentary shooter, editor, producer, and history buff. He is co-producer of American Feud, a documentary which explores historical and contemporary perspectives on liberalism and conservatism in the United States. He is also a shooter and editor for American Artifacts, a program of C-Span.

Docs In Progress is a nonprofit arts organization dedicated to building community through documentary. We do this through a variety of programs including classes, workshops, filmmaker roundtables, and screenings of both in-progress and completed works. We have presented screenings of alumni and community member works in Takoma Park as part of the We Are Takoma program since 2012. Find out more about other Docs In Progress programs.

Admission is FREE thanks to the support from the City of Takoma Park and the Maryland Film Office. Docs In Progress is also supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Maryland State Arts Council, the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County, the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, and people like you.


7500 Maple Avenue, Takoma Park, MD 20912, United States