Anne Richardson

Heather Petrocelli, winner of the 2019 Elmer Buehler Award for Film Preservation

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Every year, in the middle of the Oregon Film History Conference, we stop talking about Oregon’s rich film, animation and print cartooning history long enough to pay tribute to the people who do the work which makes film history research possible. This year we honor Heather Petrocelli.

In 2013, Heather preserved a set of films which came out of PSU’s Center for the Moving Image (1969-1981). She secured financial support from the Multnomah County Cultural Coalition and arranged for Gary Lacher to do the film to digital transfers.

Some of the CMI titles Heather preserved:

Urban Mosaic (1966) with Andries Deinum & Helen Gordon

Fragments (1966-67) by Andries Deinum & Tom Taylor

Caprice Will Become The Rule (1969) live music performance

The Seventh Day (1970) documenting student anti-war protests and police response

The Time Is Now: A Film About A Wood Co-op (1971) by Harry Dawson

A Man and His Work (1971) by Jack Sanders

Helen Frankenthaler at Portland State: Q & A (1972)

Living Together (1972) with Margaret Mead

Riches of the City (1976) about the architecture of Portland’s Old Town

With these films, it is possible to piece together the teaching approach PSU film professor Andries Deinum used in his Center For The Moving Image, the first film school in the PNW.

Heather Petrocelli’s masters thesis, Portland’s “Refugee from Occupied Hollywood”: Andries Deinum, his Center for the Moving Image, and Film Education in the United States, can be found online. Currently, she is pursuing a PhD in Film Studies at the Gothic Centre in Manchester Metropolitan University.

The Elmer Buehler Award for Film Preservation will be presented to Heather Petrocelli on May 3 during the fifth annual Oregon Film History Conference. Sheldon Renan, the 2018 award winner, will make the presentation.

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Founded in 2007 by Anne Richardson and Dennis Nyback, Oregon Cartoon Institute uses new media, archival film, research, networking, and cross disciplinary discussion to explore Oregon film, animation, and print cartooning history.  It has no brick and mortar presence, and always works in partnership with organizations which do.

Elmer Buehler Award Winners, 2015-2019

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2015: RICHARD BLUE

In 2015, the first Elmer Buehler Award for Film Preservation went to Richard Blue, for his work preserving James Blue’s THE OLIVE TREES OF JUSTICE (1962). At the time, he was just beginning the preservation work, which is still underway.

Yes, that’s James Ivory listening to Richard Blue at the opening night party for Oregon Cartoon Institute’s Mid Century Oregon Genius screening series. James Ivory (b. 1928) and James Blue (1930-1980) were classmates at the University of Oregon. James Ivory came to the series to screen two of his own films, MAURICE (1987) and AUTOBIOGRAPY OF A PRINCESS (1975), and to see James Blue’s THE OLIVE TREES OF JUSTICE on the big screen.

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2016: GARY LACHER

In 2016, Gary Lacher (pictured here presenting the award to 2017 winner, Michele Kribs) won the second Elmer Buehler Award for Film Preservation for his decades of film preservation. Oregon Historical Society, University of Oregon, Portland State University go to Gary’s business, Movie Preservation, when they need to transfer archival prints in their collections to digital formats.

But Gary does another kind of preservation work. He actively passes along his knowledge of analog film technology to those who need it in order to do their jobs well.

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2017: MICHELE KRIBS

In 2017, Michele Kribs, the head of Oregon Historical Society’s film archives, won the third Elmer Buehler Award for Film Preservation for the restoration and preservation of THE BOY MAYOR (1914).

THE BOY MAYOR is an important artifact of the “newsboy era” of Portland which produced Mel Blanc, Max Gordon, Mark Rothko, Ernest Haycox, Gus Solomon and Lew Cook. Cook, a newsboy turned newsreel photographer turned film archivist, founded the moving images section of Oregon Historical Society’s research library. Michele Kribs was trained by him!

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2018: SHELDON RENAN

In 2018, Sheldon Renan won the fourth Elmer Buehler Award for Film Preservation for having had the perspicuity to found the Pacific Film Archive, now known as Berkeley Art Museum Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA), in 1967.

How many films does Pacific Film Archive now own? At last count, it was 16,000. In retirement, Sheldon Renan (Cleveland HS ’59) returned to Portland just in time to become an advisory board member of Oregon Cartoon Institute.

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2019: HEATHER PETROCELLI

On May 3, 2019, the 5th annual Elmer Buehler Award for Film Preservation will go to Heather Petrocelli for her work overseeing the digitization of 16mm films made by students of PSU’s Center For The Moving Image (1969-1981).

More information about Heather’s work here.

Inside this five year span of awards, the Oregon film history represented covers more than one hundred years. It includes short docs, a narrative short, a feature film, a regional film center, and decades of work performed by a man who transfers his technical knowledge to the next generation just as he transfers analog moving images to digital formats.

The Elmer Buehler Awards for Film Preservation are presented annually during the all day Oregon Film History Conference. This year the conference is on May 3, 2019.

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Founded in 2007 by Anne Richardson and Dennis Nyback, Oregon Cartoon Institute uses new media, archival film, research, networking, and cross disciplinary discussion to explore Oregon film, animation, and print cartooning history.  It has no brick and mortar presence, and always works in partnership with organizations which do.