Don’t miss this festival dedicated to home movies

World Home Movie Day falls on October 15, so there’s still time to dig out those lost treasures.

Words

David Jenkins

Before the advent of the amateur footage garbage dump known as YouTube, there existed a hallowed form know as home movies. The term itself conjures images of an overzealous (and overpaid) father figure wielding a camcorder the size of a cement mixer, LCD dateline in the top right-hand corner, taping frantically as the kids open their presents on Christmas day. Home movies – proper home movies – exist on VHS tapes, reels of film or new-fangled formats that died on impact (VCD anyone?). And, when done properly, they can exert a strange power over the viewer.

Nostalgists, movie-lovers and anyone keen to catch up on poetic private moments of the rich and famous will want to mark 15 October out in their diaries in order to celebrate Home Movie Day. This annual, day-long festival rolls into its 9th year, allowing intrigued patrons to make a connection between low-fi doodles and high art.

At the London event, which takes place at the Cinema Museum in Kennington, curators and archivists will be present to offer their expertise on footage that guests are invited to bring along and, where possible, display. There will also be a chance to catch a selection of home movies from the Bryan Forbes collection, which capture time-out with such celebrity chums as Peter Sellers, Michael Caine and Katharine Hepburn, plus some of David Lean’s own home movies.

Though it could be seen as a day of wide-eyed fun and frolics, the purpose of Home Movie Day is to raise wider awareness of the importance of film preservation and archiving, as well as alerting people to the very real prospect that the dusty box sat in the attic could contain movie gold. Plus, if you haven’t been already, use this as your chance to visit the wonderful Cinema Museum, which is packed with all manner of silver screen treasures.

Home Movie Day is on 15 October. For all locations across the globe, visit centerforhomemovies.org/hmd

Published 23 Sep 2016

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