Society & Culture

UGA Libraries to sponsor Home Movie Day at Athens-Clarke County Public Library

UGA Libraries to sponsor Home Movie Day Screening at Athens-Clarke County Public Library

Athens, Ga. – In celebration of National Home Movie Day 2008, there will be a screening of My Father’s Camera, a documentary about the history of home movies, on Thursday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. at the Athens-Clarke County Public Library on Baxter Street. The event, part of the Library’s iFilms series, is co-sponsored by the University of Georgia Main Libraries Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection.

In My Father’s Camera, producer Karen Shopsowitz weaves the history of home movies together with footage shot by her amateur filmmaker father into a delightful overview of early motion pictures. My Father’s Camera illustrates that amateur filmmakers, with their accidental relationship with history, present a more detailed view of the world. The film won a George Foster Peabody Award in 2001 and is part of the Peabody Awards Collection.

Following the screening, archivists from the UGA Libraries will discuss the significance of the genre and offer expert advice on how to preserve and care for home movies. The Athens Home Movie Day celebration is open free to the public.

National Home Movie Day is a worldwide celebration of amateur films and filmmaking. Home Movie Day events provide an opportunity for individuals and families to learn more about their own family movies, how to care for films, and how home movies have helped capture 20th century history.

According to Ruta Abolins, director of the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, “Too many people see their home movies as just documenting their family; they don’t realize that home movies provide insight into family custom, lifestyle, landscape and history.”

Martin Scorsese, director of such big budget motion pictures as The Aviator, Gangs of New York and Raging Bull, has said of home movies, “Saving our film heritage should not be limited only to commercially produced films. Home movies do not just capture the important private moments of our family’s lives, but they are historical and cultural documents as well.”

Among the significant home movie collections in the Brown Media Archives are the Kaliska-Greenblatt Home Movie Collection, which documents such highlights of Georgia’s history as the July 1930 ticker tape parade on Peachtree Street for Bobby Jones’s Grand Slam and carving work on Stone Mountain; and the Gibson Home Movie Collection, which includes a clip of the Gibsons’ son as an infant walking and crawling on the lawn outside the family home with his mother, Wilma, who holds a sign reading “14 August 1945 V-J Day Today”. For online streaming of these home movies, see the Brown Media Archive website: .

For more information about the Athens celebration of Home Movie Day, contact Mary Miller at 706/542-4789. For more information about National Home Movie Day, see