Elmer Buehler Award Winners, 2015-2019
by Anne Richardson
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.