To be a writer, you need a pen. To be a painter, a brush. To be a musician, an instrument. But to be a filmmaker, you need the collaboration of others to bring your vision to the canvas that is the movie screen.
—Martin Scorsese, Director
Created in 1990 by Martin Scorsese, The Film Foundation (www.film-foundation.org) is dedicated to protecting and preserving motion picture history. By working in partnership with archives and studios, the foundation preserves and restores cinematic treasures - nearly 700 to date - and makes these films available to international festivals and institutions.
Many people are unaware that our national film heritage is deteriorating with each passing year at an alarming rate. Film is a highly unstable medium, vulnerable to deterioration and alteration. Almost half of the films made before 1950 are already lost forever and, every day, new films face the same fate if improperly handled or stored. We have no way of knowing how many shorts, documentaries, newsreels, experimental, and independent “orphan” films have been lost. Time and insufficient resources are the enemies in the fight to restore and preserve motion picture history.
The foundation's World Cinema Project was created to restore, preserve and distribute neglected films from around the world. To date, 28 films from Mexico, South America, Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Central and Southeast Asia have been made available to a global audience.
TFF is also teaching young people about film language and history through The Story of Movies, its innovative educational curriculum used by over 100,000 educators nationwide.
Joining Scorsese on the board of directors are Woody Allen, Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson, Francis Ford Coppola, Clint Eastwood, Peter Jackson, Ang Lee, George Lucas, Christopher Nolan, Alexander Payne, Robert Redford, and Steven Spielberg. The Film Foundation is aligned with the Directors Guild of America, a key partner whose president and secretary treasurer also serve on the foundation’s board.