Best Local Film and Video Preserve - 2003
San Francisco Media Archive
Tucked away in a warehouse in the Mission District, the San Francisco Media Archive is a treasure trove of historical film and video. Part time warp, part fun park, and part movie library, the archive holds clips of various lengths and in an assortment of genres, from TV commercials to trailers, newsreels to contemporary video, educational shorts to religious pictures. Run by Stephen Parr, a longtime S.F. archivist and artist with a preservationist's instinct, the nonprofit is also something of a museum of Americana, with an original Taco Bell sign, eight chrome beauty parlor hair dryers, and an old library card catalog (among other kitschy artifacts) on display. With about 20,000 items in the stacks, the place is an incredible resource for independent artists looking for that snippet of hard-to-find footage. For cinéastes hungry for a peek at rare and obscure works, Parr pulls together occasional screenings and offers training in film history, digital archiving, and media preservation.