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George Eastman House welcomes William Wellman Jr. to the inaugural Nitrate Picture Show on April 30

Actor, producer, writer, and son of legendary Hollywood filmmaker William A. Wellman kicks off world’s first Festival of Film Conservation

Rochester, N.Y., April 24, 2015—George Eastman House welcomes famed actor, producer, and author William Wellman Jr. to launch the preview event for the Nitrate Picture Show, the world’s first festival of film conservation, on Thursday, April 30. Wellman will be introducing one of his father’s famous films, A Star Is Born (William A. Wellman, US 1937) at 8 p.m. in the Dryden Theatre, followed by a discussion and book signing.

 Wellman’s biography about his father, Wild Bill Wellman: Hollywood Rebel (New York: Pantheon Books, 2015), is the April book of the month for Turner Classic Movies. Copies of the book are available for purchase at the Eastman House Store. Tickets for the screening of A Star Is Born are $30 and $25 for museum members. They can be purcahsed in advance at the Dryden Theatre box office or at eastmanhouse.org/nitratepictureshow



The Nitrate Picture Show will officially kick off at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 1, and run through Sunday, May 3. The festival presents nine feature films—nitrate prints seen by audiences during cinema’s golden age. In addition to the film programs, three author talks have been scheduled for Friday afternoon.

  • 12:30 p.m. Author Talk: Roger Smither, followed by book signing

Roger Smither was a member of the Executive Committee of the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) from 1993 to 2003. During this period he edited the FIAF Code of Ethics, published 1998. It was largely in his FIAF capacity that he lobbied for the book celebrating nitrate film, which he ended up editing, with the help of Associate Editor Catherine A. Surowiec: the result is This Film Is Dangerous, published in 2002.

  • 2 p.m. Author Talk: David Bordwell, followed by book signing

Film theorist and historian David Bordwell is Jacques Ledoux Professor Emeritus of Film Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. One of the most authoritative and influential figures in film studies, he has written several books of film history and criticism. Bordwell and Kristin Thompson write about cinema on their blog, Observations on Film Art, at davidbordwell.net/blog. He will be talking about the necessity of studying all films—not just the renowned classics—in order to gain a thorough understanding of films and their place within the vast history of the motion picture industry.

  • 3:30 p.m. Author Talk: Kevin Brownlow, followed by book signing

Film historian, filmmaker, author, collector, and film editor Kevin Brownlow is a leading figure in film preservation. He is responsible for some of the most important film restoration projects on American and French films of the silent era. In recognition of his work, on December 10, 2010, he received an Honorary Academy Award—the first ever bestowed to a specialist in film preservation. He is currently completing a book on director-producer Sidney Franklin. 

Festival Passes for the weekend are still available. Passes include admission to screenings and discussions, and to the museum, May 1–3.

  • Patron Pass: $250
  • Weekend Pass: $150 ($125 students and museum members)
  • Single-screening ticket: $20 ($18 students and members)
    • Single-screening tickets will be available only at the box office on the day of screenings, first come, first served.

For more information about the Nitrate Picture Show, visit eastmanhouse.org/nitratepictureshow.