DER has been awarded a matching grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation to preserve and remaster 9 classic 16mm films from the Yanomamö Series!
Now, we're asking for your help in raising $25,000 to meet the grant's match requirements and preserve these films for future generations.
In 1968 and again in 1971, ethnographic filmmaker Timothy Asch and anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon formed a unique collaboration to document the Yanomami, an indigenous community living in the Amazon River Basin. The resulting Yanomamö Films Series was a groundbreaking ethnographic media project consisting of 21 finished films that expanded the boundaries of documentary.
We've selected a mix of Asch's innovative short "sequence films," and films about myth and fieldwork to focus on in this round of preservation (The Ax Fight was restored and preserved in 2001). All of the selected films are in regular demand for teaching and screenings around the world.
These are some of the most important ethnographic films of the 20th century, and we can't afford to lose this record of our shared human history. Your donations, big or small, will contribute to preserving:
A Man Called "Bee" (40 min,1974) Tim Asch’s documentation of Napoleon Chagnon’s fieldwork among the Yanomami. Match required: $5,000
Magical Death (29 min,1973) documentation of Yanomami shamanism. Match required: $5,000
A Father Washes His Children (15 min,1974) observational study of a Yanomami headman. Match required: $3,000
Moonblood: A Yanomamö Creation Myth (14 min, 1976) exploration of Yanomami mythology. Match required: $3,000
Weeding the Garden (14 min,1974) documentation of everyday Yanomami life. Match required: $3,000
Climbing the Peach Palm (9 min,1974) observational study of Yanomami tool use. Match required: $1,500
A Man and His Wife Make a Hammock (12 min,1975) observational study of Yanomami daily life and crafts. Match required: $1,500
Arrow Game (10 min,1974) documentation of Yanomami children’s games. Match required: $1,500
Children's Magical Death (7 min,1974) Yanomami children imitating their shaman fathers. Match required: $1,500
For this project, we’re partnering with the Smithsonian’s National Anthropological Archive, the archival repository for the edited Yanomamö Films and their “outtake” footage. Over the past twenty years, the Smithsonian has cared for these materials; this is the best long term home for our films. Once the new masters are created, they’ll go straight into archival, subzero film storage and a copy of the digital files will go into a secure digital asset management system.
The Yanomamö Films Series was one of DER’s two founding collections, and was produced, edited, and distributed all in-house. We are proud to continue to be the caretakers of these innovative pieces of documentary history. We hope you will join us now in ensuring these films will be available to educate, debate, and inspire for another fifty years!
All of us at DER
Risks and challenges
DER has years of experience with preservation projects, and brings a wealth of expertise to these issues. We work closely with the National Anthropological Film Collection at the Smithsonian Institution on preservation and remastering projects and with the Harvard Film Archive on storage of our distribution prints. Most recently, DER staff have overseen successful film transfer, color correction and remastering of 21 films from the classic "Faces of Change" series. With the experts at the National Film Preservation Foundation and the Smithsonian working with us on this project, we have assembled the best possible team to handle any hiccups along the way. We just need to raise our matching funds to get started!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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