The Film Exhibition Fund has awarded its first two Celluloid Series Support Grants to Anthology Film Archives for $2,500 and Microscope Gallery for $2,300.
The Film Exhibition Fund is a new grants-giving 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the continued screening of celluloid film prints. The fund was founded by film programmer Max Carpenter, who currently presides over a board consisting of archivist Laura Major, film nonprofit executive Jake Perlin, and curator David Schwartz.
Anthology Film Archives will be using the grant to support its August 2022 screening of several Andy Warhol films on 16mm celluloid: Sleep (1963), Empire (1964), and Chelsea Girls (1966) — the first two of which run longer than five and eight hours, respectively, and the last of which involves over three hours of dual-screen projection.
Microscope Gallery will be using the grant to support its current performance series Imageless, ongoing through July 2022 presented in collaboration with Anthology Film Archives, including celluloid work by Bradley Eros, Takahiko Iimura, Andrew Lampert, Maurice Lemaître, Mary Lucier, Anthony McCall, and Jonas Mekas.
“Preserving the experience of theatrical projection — and especially the projection of 35mm, 16mm, and 8mm film prints — is at the core of Anthology’s mission,” Anthology Film Archives Film Programmer Jed Rapfogel said in a press release. “The creation of The Film Exhibition Fund — and the (financial but also moral) support they provide — is truly a godsend! It’s a much-needed positive development for those venues that are determined to keep film projection alive.”
“Often the presentation of works in their original celluloid film format is discouraged by the perceived costs and other difficulties associated with it,” Microscope Gallery Cofounder and Codirector Elle Burchill added. “The Film Exhibition Fund makes a real difference, allowing audiences to experience moving image works in the way the artists had originally conceived them, which is in turn crucial to their reception and understanding.”
“I can’t begin to express my happiness at seeing the Film Exhibition Fund already making some small but significant differences in the exhibition landscape,” Carpenter said. “Paying fees or a salary to a projectionist, paying for the shipping of film prints (often international), paying archival rental fees: these are expenses that are more or less invisible to the average theater patron, and these expenses are not easily recouped by ticket sales.”
The Film Exhibition Fund is now shifting back to soliciting donations and fundraising to provide for its next wave of grants, with the hope to expand the applications from New York-based institutions to venues across the country. Donations can be made at filmexhibition.org/donate.html