ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — There’s a box of 8 mm film reels sitting in the back of your hall closet.
You know your dad shot the film in the early ’60s, but you don’t know what’s on what because the projector and movie screen are long gone. Maybe your brother in Alabama has them.
But that’s OK, because in celebration of Home Movie Day you can get that film evaluated and maybe even publicly screened from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, in the lower level of the Albuquerque Main Public Library, 501 Copper NW.
Members of the public are invited to bring in film in 8 mm, Super8 mm and 16 mm formats. The event is free.
“Many people no longer have a way to watch the films they either shot or inherited,” said Beth Hansen, vice president of Albuquerque’s Basement Films, a nonprofit organization that supports experimental, independent film and video making. “We don’t know what will show up and that’s what makes it exciting.”
Or maybe embarrassing. What if film of your geeky eighth-grade play gets screened for everyone to see?
Albuquerque’s Home Movie Day is a collaboration of Basement Films, the Albuquerque Museum, Historic Albuquerque Incorporated, the Albuquerque Historical Society and Modern Albuquerque LLC.
Organizers are expecting to see film of babies, birthday parties, vacation trips and maybe even dorky school plays. But challenging the notion that home movies are not culturally or historically valuable is among the goals of the event.
“It might contain a snapshot of time that someone – a filmmaker or researcher – is hunting for,” said Ethan Aronson of Modern Albuquerque LLC, an organization that promotes the presence of modernist architecture in Albuquerque. Aronson will be watching film closely to pick out buildings in the background.
Local historian Roland Penttila will also be on hand to help identify what is being seen on film.
Even though the event organizers are all Albuquerque based, film shot outside of Albuquerque is welcome as are student works.
Spectators are invited to stop in and look at film that is being screened. If there is down time between screening film brought in by the public, the organizers will show movies from their own collections.