All manner of films outside the commercial mainstream: amateur,
unreleased, and
underground films, as well as
home movies,
test reels,
fringe TV,
and other
ephemeral moving images. More...

The next biennial, four-day Orphan Film Symposium:
May 23-26, 2020
EYE Netherlands Filmmuseum in Amsterdam.
Theme and call for presentations to be announced in 2019.


Meanwhile . . .

REGISTER now for RADICALS, the special edition of the NYU Orphan Film Symposium at the Austrian Film Museum in Vienna, June 6-8, 2019.

Click here for registration and payment information. Discount for early reg.

Bonus! Thursday, June 6: Symposium registration includes free admission to the 7:00 pm screening of Dutch experimental films curated by Simona Monizza (EYE Netherlands Film Museum). An Örphans opening reception follows in the lobby and al fresco bar area (with drinks & nibbles) at das Österreichische Filmmuseum.

Here’s a first look at some of the presentations and screenings slated for RADICALS throughout June 7 and 8.

Kimberly Tarr (NYU Libraries)  Angela Davis Report (DDR, 1972) Premiere of new preservation from the Communist Party USA Collection at NYU Tamiment Library

Rommy Albers, Simona Monizza (EYE), & Floris Paalmen (U of Amsterdam) Cineclub Amsterdam Freedom Films at the International Institute for Society History

Mara Mattuschka & Hans Werner Poschauko (Maria Lassnig Foundation) Maria Lassnig's “Films in Progress”: An Artist's Approach to Restoring Unfinished Works

Grazia Ingravalle (Brunel U London) British or Indian Colonial Film Heritage? Towards a Decolonization of Film Archiving and Curation. Panorama of Calcutta, India, from the River Ganges (Warwick Trading Co., 1899) and excerpts from Around India with a Movie Camera (Sandhya Suri, 2018)

Masha Godovannaya (media artist, QFAAG Unwanted Organization) Necrorealism in the USSR: Films and Photos by Yevgeniy Yufit: Werewolf Orderlies (1984), Woodcutter (1985), Spring (1987), and Suicide Monsters (1988)

Caroline Fournier (Cinémathèque Suisse) Debut screening of a 1930s nitrate iteration of Hans Richter’s Every Day (1929)

Joachim Schätz (Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for History and Society) Avant-garde Mimicry: Mit unbekanntem Ziel [Destination Unknown] (Austrian Chamber of Commerce & Institute for the Promotion of Trade, 1963)

Martin Reinhart (U für angewandte Kunst Wien) The Data Loam Project

Virgil Widrich & Martin Reinhart (U für angewandte Kunst Wien | Art & Science) Time and Space Reversed on Screen: tx-mirror at Twenty (new productions)

José Miguel Palacios (U Alberto Hurtado, Chile) & Elizabeth Ramírez-Soto (San Francisco State U) Chilean Filmmakers in Exile after 1973: La femme au foyer (Valeria Sarmiento, France, 1976), La piedra crece donde cae la gota (Patricio Castilla, Cuba, 1977), Le soulier (Jorge Fajardo, Canada, 1980)

Eva Näripea (National Archives of Estonia) & Hardi Volmer (artist) Päratrust [Butt Trust] Estonian Punk Band films, 1979-1983: Kalkar (satire of Tarkovsky’s Stalker) and Tsar of the Flies

Brian Meacham (Yale Film Study Center) & Josh Morton (filmmaker) Radical Theater: The Black Panthers, New Haven, and Puppet Show (Josh Morton, 1970)

Tania López Espinal (Cineteca Nacional México) Viva Cristo Rey! Manuel Ramos, 9.5mm Films, and the Cristero War, 1926-1929

Thomas Christensen & Katrine Madsbjerg (Danish Film Institute) Unidentified International Socialists, or: How Uncle Sam Traveled from Vienna to Copenhagen. Debut of new preservation: Onkel Sams Wienerrejse (1931)  

Léa Morin (L'Atelier de l'Observatoire, Casablanca) An Unknown Moroccan Cinema: Mostafa Derkaoui’s Student Films in Poland, 1969-71

Jacob Perlin (Metrograph NYC) Saint Clair Bourne’s documentary The Black and the Green (1983)

David Landolf & Brigitte Paulowitz (Lichtspiel / Kinemathek Bern) Amateur Filmmaking for a Greater Cause: René Betge’s Propaganda Films for the Lebensreform Movement „die neue zeit,“ 1929-1939

Enrique Fibla-Gutierrez (Filmoteca de Catalunya) & Pablo La Parra-Pérez (Elías Querejeta Film School, San Sebastian) The Wretched of the Spanish Earth: Fragments from Spanish Film Archives, 1930s-1970s

Kaveh Askari (MSU) & Hadi Gharabaghi (NYU) Michigan State University and National Iranian Radio and Television’s Iran Film Series: Ancient Iran: Part 2, 3000-800 BC (Margaret Mehring and Mohammad Ali Issari, 1977). New preservation from the University Archives

Hieyoon Kim (U of Wisconsin) The Seoul Film Collective and Activism in the 1980s (excerpts from 8mm films)

Tara Merenda Nelson (Visual Studies Workshop) Robert Frank Visits Rochester: About Us (VSW, 1972)  

Sandra Ladwig (U of Applied Arts Vienna) The Amateur’s Attention to the Inconspicuous: Irrsinn rot weiss gelb [Frenzy in Red, White, Yellow] (René Tajoburg, Super 8mm, ca. 1970)

Giorgio Trumpy, Josephine Diecke, David Pfluger, & Barbara Flueckiger (U of Zurich) Reconsidering Rigid Procedures of Color Film Digitization: Toning, Lenticular Processes, Chromogenic Stock, and Mroz-Farbenfilm

Stefanie Zingl (OFM) The Short Life of Mroz 9.5mm Color Amateur Film: Testfilm (Josef Mroz, 1930) and Farbenfilmversuche (Josip Sliskovic, 1931-32)

and others. . .

Evening screenings curated by Jurij Meden & Michael Loebenstein (Austrian Film Museum) with Dan Streible (NYU Cinema Studies)

Update October 15, 2018

June 7 & 8, 2019, the Austrian Film Museum in Vienna hosts "Radicals," a two-day edition of the NYU Orphan Film Symposium.

Call for Presentations

The Austrian Film Museum, longtime home of unconventional cinematic expressions, welcomes a line-up of radical orphan films as a finale to its 2019 spring season.

Scholars, archivists, curators, and artists will explore a variety of neglected films related to diverse forms of radical style, practice, and politics. What examples of radical filmmaking are there to be discovered? How have various stripes of radical politics been represented or documented on screen? How are radical new practices and ideas in archiving and preservation challenging traditional approaches?

In addition to unveiling rarities from the Film Museum’s own collection, the symposium will include content selected from responses to this Call for Presentations.

We invite one-page proposals for presentations (15 to 45 minutes), especially those that include screening seldom-seen material. New media productions using archival or found footage in a challenging manner can be considered too.

E-mail proposals to

Deadline: December 10, 2018

Summarize the significance of the material and topic; identify AV material to be screened by title, running time, and format. Please send text as a file attachment.

Presenters should commit to attend the full symposium. Registration and attendance is open to all, beginning January 2019. Watch this space. . . .


Read the complete Orphans 11 program here.

NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Department of Cinema Studies, and its Moving Image Archiving and Preservation Program hosted the 11th Orphan Film Symposium, April 11-14, 2018, at Museum of the Moving Image. Scholars, archivists, media artists, curators, preservationists, collectors, librarians, students, and other enthusiasts explored a variety of neglected works and moving image artifacts.

Inspired by Plato's Symposium (360 BCE), the theme was love. Love in the many senses of the word -- romantic, spiritual, filial, religious, parental, empathic. Love of others, humanity, planet, country, family, animals, food, pleasure, art, peace, place, learning. Or as Plato might say agápe, eros, philía, and storgē. Cinephilia itself opened the door to all kinds of films we love. Among the orphan categories elated to love: amateur films and home movies; advocacy films; works made by religious or charitable organizations; romance and melodrama; erotica, porn, dating do's and dont's; advertising and animation; patriotic pictures; cult films; movies for children. What films have inspired love (or hate), passions, or devotion?

Merci, Cinémathèque française!

The Cinémathèque française and NYU Cinema Studies co-hosted a special edition of the Orphan Film Symposium in Paris, March 2-4, 2017.

The theme: Tests, essais et expérimentations

Orphans 2017 / Orphelins de Paris
March 2-4, 2017

Click here to see the program. Films ranging from 1894 to 1994, from France, the US, UK, Poland, Italy, Denmark, Lithuania, Serbia, Algeria, Belgium, India, Mexico, and the Netherlands. See a wonderous variety of outtakes, kinetscope movies, camera tests, partially edited newsreels, 90mm scientic studies, 35mm medical films, Super 8 exrperiments, 16mm avant garde pieces, images inédites, rushes, unfinished films, silent cinema, unreleased works, never-used newsfilm, amateur narratives, home movies, military footage, student films, promotional documentaries, early sound newsreel tests, and restored classics.

Orphans X : Sound, April 6-9, 2016

New York University Cinema Studies and its Moving Image Archiving and Preservation Program joined with the Library of Congress National Audio-Visual Conservation Center for the tenth international gathering of archivists, scholars, curators, preservationists, technical experts, artists, and media-makers devoted to screening and discussing orphan films.

A timeline of the Orphan Film Symposium, 1999 - 2016 . . .

designed by Martha Diaz & Erica Gold (NYU MIAP)