Anthology Film Archives is a film archive and theater located at 32 Second Avenue on the corner of East Second Street in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City devoted to the preservation and exhibition of experimental film. It is the only non-profit organization of its kind in New York City, independent through self-support. In addition to preserving and exhibiting films – about 700 public screenings yearly – Anthology also publishes books and catalogs and houses a research library and art gallery.
The Archives was founded by Jonas Mekas, Stan Brakhage, P. Adams Sitney and Peter Kubelka and opened on November 30th, 1970. Today it keeps around 11,000 films and 3,000 videotapes and is one of the largest archives of avant-garde and experimental cinema in the world. The collection, which focuses on American filmmakers, also holds many commercial and industrial negatives deposited at the institution by insolvent films laboratories. Mekas' contribution to the Anthology was substantial: when grant funding was low, such as in the 1970s, Mekas single-handedly saved the collection, sometimes personally paying the rent to house the collection.
In 2005, the Archives released Unseen Cinema: Early American Avant Garde Film 1894-1941, a DVD retrospective of early experimental film. That same year, the Archives was among 406 New York City arts and social service institutions to receive part of a $20 million grant from the Carnegie Corporation, which was made possible through a donation by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.
In 1998 New York University film students began NewFilmmakers, which became a popular weekly series, which has screened many thousands of documentary, short, and feature films. From 2004 through 2006, members of the Anthology Film Archives community organized LAB HD, an ambient televisionchannel that broadcast in high-definition nationally in the United States. During this period LAB HD produced dozens of experimental and avant-garde films in its facilities.
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“A good film script should be able to do completely without dialogue.”
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