For the Love of It: Fifth Annual Festival of Amateur Filmmaking

Melinda Stone is professor of media studies at the University of San Francisco.

For over sixty-five years amateur filmmakers in the United States have been passionately pursuing their craft and exhibiting their movies, primarily within film clubs. Whether making autobiographical essays or experimental nature films, amateur filmmakers create for the love of it. Tonight we open with the world premiere of the recently restored Welcome San Francisco Moviemakers (Dr. Frank S. Zach, 1960), an orphaned film preserved by the San Francisco Media Archive. The UCLA Film and Television Archive recently finished preservation work on two films by amateur film cult hero Sid Laverents, Stop Cloning Around (1980, 15 mins) and One Man Band (1965–72, 10 mins), both of which highlight Sid's penchants for engineering and vaudeville. Each year Westwood Cinema Club President Stan Smith delights me by exhuming from his basement another Dorothy and Ott Goff treasure to screen. We will show S.F. Lake Tahoe 1933 by these talented filmmakers. Recent award-winning videos by Bernie Wood and Peninsula Movie Makers will also be featured. The show will conclude with Tomato Setting and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star by Vic Brown, who recently passed away. Vic was my main liaison to the amateur film club world. This screening is in memory of him.

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