Written from an IU press release
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – September 7, 2023
Archivists, scholars, filmmakers, and historians from around the world are set to gather at Indiana University Bloomington from September 13 to 16 for a groundbreaking conference focused on the 16mm film format. Highlighting the event will be the premiere of a short film shot on 16mm by Oscar-nominated actor, writer, and filmmaker Jesse Eisenberg, alongside never-before-seen 16mm films by the celebrated artist and filmmaker Andy Warhol.
The “A Century of 16mm” conference, hosted by the IU Libraries Moving Image Archive in collaboration with The Media School, marks the culmination of a year-long celebration commemorating the launch of the first affordable and accessible film format by Eastman Kodak in 1923.
Rachael Stoeltje, director of the IU Libraries Moving Image Archive and president of the International Association of Moving Image Archivists, emphasized the revolutionary impact of 16mm film, saying, “Sixteen-millimeter film changed everything. It was the first time that history was being recorded by average people not affiliated with a production studio, which I think we all take for granted now.”
As part of the conference’s “A New Century” series of screenings, Stoeltje and her colleague Carmel Curtis commissioned 17 new films created by filmmakers worldwide using 16mm film stock. These filmmakers were invited to craft three-minute original films with one simple rule: “Make what you want.”
Eisenberg’s contribution, titled “In the Morning Kitchen,” is scheduled to premiere on September 15.
“We are so fortunate to have Jesse Eisenberg participate in the ‘A New Century’ filmmaking series,” Stoeltje expressed. “When we began reaching out to filmmakers in early 2022, Mr. Eisenberg had recently completed shooting his own film, ‘When You Finish Saving the World,’ on 16mm. ‘In the Morning Kitchen’ is a unique work that incorporates his family. It is a lovely gem, and we are delighted to premiere it at the conference.”
These original films will debut at the Moving Image Archive Screening Room and Indiana University Cinema, a state-of-the-art campus theater dedicated to the scholarly study and exhibition of film.
On September 14, “Unseen Andy Warhol” will make its premiere, featuring a series of unreleased films shot on a 16mm Bolex camera between 1963 and 1965 by Warhol. These 13 100-foot rolls of film were meticulously restored by Katie Trainor, film archivist at the Museum of Modern Art, and Greg Pierce, director of film and video at the Andy Warhol Museum.
One of the Warhol films will be showcased using a Kodak Pageant projector within the theater, providing audiences with a unique, immersive viewing experience.
Trainor and Pierce noted that the films in “Unseen Andy Warhol” shed light on Warhol’s rapid evolution into one of the most significant 16mm filmmakers of the 20th century. The collection includes home movies filmed by Warhol in Old Lyme, Connecticut, as well as unseen film rolls from “Batman Dracula” and “Couch,” along with rushes and on-set documentation from “More Milk Yvette” and “Lupe.”
The conference agenda also includes tours of the temperature-controlled IU Ruth Lilly Auxiliary Library Facility, where the Moving Image Archive’s collection of over 130,000 items is housed. Additionally, tours will be offered at renowned campus locations that house various collections, such as the Black Film Center & Archive, the Kinsey Institute, and a pop-up exhibition at the Lilly Library showcasing items from filmmaker collections of luminaries like Peter Bogdanovich, Orson Welles, and John Ford.
Gregory Waller, provost professor of cinema and media studies in The Media School and co-director of the conference, highlighted the global significance of the event, saying, “Film scholars from a host of different nations will present new research on the history of 16mm, a format which greatly expanded the uses and the users of film, particularly after World War II. IU played a major role in this history and now has world-class resources for studying 16mm films.”
The “A Century of 16mm” conference receives support from the Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, the Indiana University Arts & Humanities Council, the IU Presidential Arts & Humanities Program, the Office of the Provost, IU Research, the IU Libraries, The Media School, and the College Arts and Humanities Institute.
For more information about the conference and a detailed schedule of events, please visit the official conference website.