DOC NYC, IDA launch Documentary Preservation Summit

New York festival DOC NYC and the International Documentary Association (IDA) are teaming up for a two-day conference aimed at "sounding the alarm" on documentary preservation. (Pictured: Restored image from Marcel Ophuls' The Memory of Justice)
March 17, 2015

New York festival DOC NYC and the International Documentary Association (IDA) are teaming up for a two-day conference aimed at “sounding the alarm” on documentary preservation.

The inaugural Documentary Preservation Summit is to unite both filmmakers and preservation experts in order to address the risks of losing documentaries and discuss strategies for ensuring their upkeep.

The event will kick off on March 31 with a keynote titled “A Call to Action for Documentary Preservation,” aimed at highlighting the risks facing precious films. The session will also feature a preview of the IndieCollect Index – an initiative attempting to catalog American independent cinema.

Meanwhile, April 1 sessions will include the panels “Earning New Revenue Off Old Films”; “Confronting Clearance and Legal Issues”; “How Does Your Film Become Preserved and Discoverable?”; and “Best Practices: Don’t Lose Your Footage in the Digital Age.”

Summit speakers include directors D.A. Pennebaker  (Monterey Pop) and Barbara Kopple (Harlan County USA), Black Filmmaker Foundation founder Warrington Hudlin, The Film Foundation executive director Margaret Bodde, and IndieCollect campaign head Sandra Schulberg.

“Preserving access to great documentary films and ensuring they remain available to future generations is a sleeping-giant issue facing documentary filmmakers and aficionados alike,” said Marjan Safinia, IDA board president, in a statement.

DOC NYC artistic director Thom Powers added: “Today, all filmmakers have to serve as their own archivists, whether it’s for work on older formats or fresh footage on a hard drive. This summit will give filmmakers vital knowledge about how to save their work and make it available to the public.”

(Pictured: Restored image from Marcel Ophuls’ The Memory of Justice)

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.