HFPA Preservation Showcased in Restoration Weekend

by Silvia Bizio June 20, 2020
HFPA Restoration Summit 2020

HFPA Restoration Summit, February 15-16, 2020

Two film events will highlight HFPA restoration efforts. Continuing its mission to restore and preserve film heritage, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association gives major contributions and grants to print and digital restoration projects and holds an annual Film Restoration Summit.

This weekend the Italian Cultural Center in Los Angeles will pay tribute to the HFPA sponsored restoration of Fellini’s Roma. Fare Cinema, (“making film” in Italian) is a series launched three years ago to promote Italian cinema and its film industry in the world, under the auspices of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MiBACT, ANICA, ICE, and Istituto Luce Cinecittà. This year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the closing of public venues, for the first time the event will stream in its entirety worldwide. It includes exclusive video content, such as award-winning short movies and masterclasses, with a special focus this year on the 100th anniversary of late Italian legends, director Federico Fellini and actor Alberto Sordi, both class of 1920 (Fellini died in 1993, Sordi in 2003).  To honor the director’s centennial, the HFPA funded the restoration of Fellini’s film Roma (1972) by the Cineteca di Bologna’s world-renowned restoration lab.

In February the HFPA held its second annual Restoration Summit at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood in collaboration with the American Cinematheque. As part of Fare Cinema, IIC is presenting the master class held at the time by Gianluca Farinelli, director of the Cineteca di Bologna and of its festival – Il Cinema Ritrovato – which introduced the West Coast premiere of the restored version of Fellini’s Roma.

An interview with director Paul Mazursky, conducted at the time of Fellini’s death in 1993 for RAI (National TV of Italy) by HFPA's Luca Celada, is also part of the program. In it, the director (Harry and Tonto, Down and Out in Beverly Hills) remembers casting Fellini in his indie comedy Alex in Wonderland (1970). Another RAI report documents Alberto Sordi’s last visit to Los Angeles in 1997, six years before his death. Materials from these presentations, introduced by HFPA President Lorenzo Soria are available on Fare Cinema’s Youtube Channel: (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL80hdUawXXOX4xl1QsatkZiZI_-VqzL9T).

Also, this weekend, through June 21, AFI Docs will show William Greaves’ long-lost documentary Nationtime – Gary, about the National Black Political Convention in Gary, Indiana in 1972, a historic event that gathered National African American political and cultural figures, among them Jesse Jackson. Dick Gregory, Coretta Scott King, Richard Hatcher, Amiri Baraka, Charles Diggs, and H. Carl McCall. Narrated by Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte, the film was considered too “militant” for television at the time and was only made available to the public in an edited 60-minute version. The original was lost until it was recently located in a Pittsburgh warehouse and carefully restored to 4K quality by Indiecollect thanks to an HFPA grant. The restoration was completed with the supervision of Greaves’ widow and Filmmaking partner Louise and returned the film to its original 79-minute duration and visual quality. Actor Richard Roundtree who appears in the documentary will introduce the AFI screening, available via link this link: https://docs.afi.com/2020/cinemas-legacy-2020/nationtime-gary/#elevent

Best known for his avant-garde meta-documentary Symbiopsychotaxiplasm, William Greaves (1926 – 2014) was also the director of over 100 documentary films, the majority focused on African American history, politics, and culture.