The 1938 Amateur Movie Show: A Reconstruction

with Charles Tepperman and Bryce Prewitt
Friday, April 19, 2019 - 7:00pm

The International Amateur Movie Show celebrated the wildfire growth of amateur filmmaking around the world after the introduction of 16mm film in 1923. The culmination of a 20-screening series devoted to the art of motion pictures, the April 6, 1938 event at Columbia University featured ten films from nine different countries. The lineup demonstrated the wide range of techniques and topics that characterized amateur filmmaking, from travel chronicles to polished fictional works to experimental antiwar films, illustrating a fascinating if underappreciated chapter in the history of alternative film culture. The Amateur Movie Database Project has located several of these films and presents a partial reconstruction of the program. WHPK DJ Bryce Prewitt will live-mix a vinyl accompaniment from his own collection and the WHPK archives.  

(83 min., digital video)

Charles Tepperman is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication, Media and Film at the University of Calgary. He is the author of Amateur Cinema: The Rise of North American Moviemaking, 1923-1960, and Project Director of the Amateur Movie Database, an online resource launched to chronicle the history of amateur moviemaking in North America. To date, AMDB has compiled information about more than 1,600 amateur films in addition to several hundred moviemakers and local movie clubs, and its researchers are working to locate amateur films in archives and make them more accessible to audiences through curated screening programs. 

Co-sponsored by WHPK.