Jacob Burns to Host Restored & Rediscovered: A Film Preservation Festival On May 13-23

The Jacob Burns Film Center (JBFC) unveils its inaugural series, Restored & Rediscovered: A Film Preservation Festival, which promises an enriching journey through film history, featuring a diverse selection of restored classics, independent gems, documentaries, and silent film rarities. JBFC Restored & Rediscovered highlights the vital efforts to safeguard our cinematic heritage by uniting experts, filmmakers, archivists, curators, and restorers. The weeklong celebration runs from May 13–19, 2024, with additional screenings extended through May 20–23.

Films featured in the series include Nancy Savoca’s Household Saints, Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, Edward Yang’s Mahjong, Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom, and Carol Reed’s The Third Man, along with impactful short films and documentaries from independent filmmakers all over the world. A list of films and special guests is below.

“This festival is a celebration of the work it takes to protect and preserve film that might otherwise have been lost,” said Monica Castillo, JBFC Senior Programmer and Series Curator. “Through their meticulous restoration efforts, several films we now consider classics were rescued from the brink of obscurity and brought back to life, allowing audiences to experience their magic again.

Our various partners in this festival have been at the forefront of championing these preservation efforts. They will join us in person through panels, Q&As, and a reception to discuss their work and illustrate the various processes involved in the race to safeguard celluloid film against time.”

One special guest Justin LaLiberty (Stratford, CT), a former JBFC projectionist, returns for a program on genre films. “We’re thrilled to welcome back our former colleague Justin, as part of our partnership with Vinegar Syndrome for JBFC Restored & Rediscovered. Justin’s expertise and passion for film preservation make him an invaluable addition to our lineup, and we’re excited for audiences to engage with him during his on-stage Q&A,” said Andrew Robinson, JBFC Technical Manager. LaLiberty is screening a previously lost film, The Rare Blue Apes of Cannibal Isle with the feature-length documentary Against the Grain, which takes viewers behind the scenes at Vinegar Syndrome and other specialized distributors and archives to learn more about the challenges of saving and restoring genre films.

JBFC Restored & Rediscovered is presented in partnership with organizations and individuals at the forefront of film preservation. Partner organizations include IndieCollect, Janus Films, Kino Lorber, Milestone Films, Rialto Pictures, The Film Foundation, Vinegar Syndrome, along with individuals such as Ben Model and associated partners working to restore movies for future audiences. More titles and partners to be announced.


Monday, May 13

  • The Many Miracles of Household Saints at 4:30
    Introduction by Household Saints director Nancy Savoca and producer Rich Guay

A behind-the-scenes documentary by Martina Savoca-Guay about the improbable story behind the making of Household Saints, along with contemporary interviews of her parents who made the film. (2023)

Presented in collaboration with Kino Lorber and Milestone Films.


Household Saints at 6:30

Post-screening Q&A with director Nancy Savoca and producer Rich Guay, Amy Heller and Dennis Doros from Milestone Films (who helped restored the film), followed by a reception
A drama about three generations of Italian-American women struggling to get by in post-World War II New York’s Little Italy starring Vincent D’Onofrio, Tracey Ullman, Lili Taylor, and Michael Imperioli. (1993)

Household Saints was digitally restored and remastered by Lightbox Film Center at University of the Arts (Philadelphia) in collaboration with Milestone Films with support from Ron and Suzanne Naples. Restoration Supervisor: Ross Lipman, Corpus Fluxus. Picture Restoration: Illuminate Hollywood. Sound Restoration: Audio Mechanics.

Presented in collaboration with Kino Lorber and Milestone Films.

Encore screening on Tuesday, May 21 at 7:00.

Tuesday, May 14

  • Bushman at 4:45

Introduction by Series Curator, Monica Castillo

In 1968’s tumult, a Nigerian student in San Francisco experiences clashing cultures and elucidates society’s ineptitude at living humanely. (1971)

Bushman was restored by the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive and The Film Foundation. Funding provided by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation. Additional support provided by Peter Conheim, Cinema Preservation Alliance.

Presented in collaboration with Kino Lorber and Milestone Films.

Encore screening on Wednesday, May 22 at 7:00.

Wednesday, May 15

  • IndieCollect Shorts 1 (Possum Living, Painting the Town, Woo Who? May Wilson) at 1:30
    Q&A with directors Nancy Schreiber and Amalie R. Rothschild

  • IndieCollect Shorts 2 (A Comedy in Six Unnatural Acts, Days are Numbered, Home Movie, The Way of the Wicked) at 4:45
    Introduction from the IndieCollect team
  • IndieCollect Shorts 3 (Possum Living, Painting the Town, It Happens to Us) at 7:00
    Q&A with directors Nancy Schreiber and Amalie R. Rothschild

    Encore screening of Painting the Town, It Happens to Us, and Woo Who? May Wilson on Tues., May 21 at 4:20.

Friday, May 17

  • The Runner at 1:00
    Introduction by Monica Castillo
    A masterpiece of Iranian cinema about an illiterate yet resourceful orphan living alone in an abandoned tanker, surviving abuse from adults and competing older kids. (1984)
    Restored from the original negative in 2K by Cineric.
    Encore screening on Monday, May 20 at 7:00.
  • Lumumba: The Death of a Prophet at 3:30
    Investigating revolutionary Patrice Lumumba’s brief tenure as the first prime minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as the machinations behind his shocking assassination, legendary Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck discovers critical flashpoints where a nation’s officially curated narratives intersect with repressed truths. (2000)
    Restored by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project and Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata/L’Image Retrouvée in collaboration with Velvet Film and supervised by Raoul Peck.
    Encore screening on Monday, May 20 at 5:00.
  • Mahjong at 6:00
    Introduction by Programming Coordinator Ian LoCascio
    Edward Yang’s penultimate film is an acerbic, sprawling tragicomedy, a poison love letter to Taipei as a rising cosmopolis of big money, big dreams, and big cons. In several intertwined tales of greed, violence, and shattered principles, Mahjong examines how a city can grow in power and wealth while abandoning its heart and soul. (1996)
    The new 4K restoration was undertaken by the Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute with the support of Kaili Peng and Kailidoscope Pictures.
    Encore screening on Wednesday, May 22 at 4:25.
  • Rare Blue Apes of Cannibal Isle and Against the Grain at 9:00
    Introduction and Q&A with Justin LaLiberty of Vinegar Syndrome and Monica Castillo
    An almost impossible to describe “kiddie” musical, shot in Malaysia by veteran sexploitation director Donn Greer (101 Acts of Love), The Rare Blue Apes Of Cannibal Isle (1974) offers a jaw-dropping barrage of singing crocodiles and monkeys, deadly and psychedelic booby traps, barren hellscapes, and a lovable duck named Mr. Quack Quack…We guarantee you’ve never seen anything like it. (1974)
    Against the Grain is a feature-length documentary exploring home video studios and their efforts to recover and restore lost and forgotten genre films. (2023)

Saturday, May 18

  • Hugo in 3D at 11:00
    Introduction by Monica Castillo; screening followed by a hands-on activity at the Media Arts Lab where viewers can draw on film strips and project them. The activity includes a film projection demonstration by JBFC projectionists.

In 1931 Paris, an orphan living in the walls of a train station gets wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton. Martin Scorsese’s kid-friendly adventure doubles as a tribute to the magic of early silent movies. (2011)

  • Laughter Restored: Discovering Rare Gems of the Silent Era with Ben Model at 1:00

Silent film historian, accompanist and distributor Ben Model presents a combination lecture + screening about his work over the past decade uncovering, restoring and reintroducing rare films of the lesser-known luminaries of silent comedy to the public.

  • Peeping Tom at 4:00
    Introduction by Monica Castillo

The bodies pile up as sensitive film studio focus puller Mark Lewis (Carl Boehm) moonlights as a private photographer of scantily-clad women, while obsessively working on his own “documentary” of the women’s dying expressions. What once was director Michael Powell’s most criticized work has been reexamined and praised for its innovation. (1960)

Restored by The Film Foundation and BFI National Archive in association with Studiocanal. Funding provided by The Film Foundation and Studiocanal. Special thanks to Martin Scorsese and Thelma Schoonmaker for their consultation. 4K scanning by Silver Salt Restoration Limited, London; Picture restoration by Cineric, Inc., New York; Audio restoration by BFI National Archive Encore screening on Thursday, May 23 at 7:00.

  • The Third Man at 7:00
    Pulp novelist Holly Martins (Joseph Cotton) travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime (Orson Welles). (1949)
    4K restoration by Deluxe Restoration on behalf of Studiocanal.
    Encore screening on Thursday, May 23 at 4:45.

The JBFC is located one block from Metro North, Pleasantville train station (45 min. Metro North ride from Manhattan).

For more information, visit burnsfilmcenter.org, FB: @JacobBurnsFilmCenter, X (formerly Twitter: @JBFC_ny and Instagram: @JBFC_pville.

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