Next Meetup

Vintage Movie Night: Selections from the National Film Preservation Board
Local documentary filmmaker Richard Hall will share a selection of short films from the National Film Preservation Foundation’s 135 Online Field Guide to Sponsored Films. From a silent 1897 cigarette ad, to Men and Dust, a 1940 labor film about the dangers of mining, to a 1950 animated pro-business propaganda film in Technicolor, these “ephemeral” films often go overlooked in the study of film history. ABOUT THE ONLINE FIELD GUIDE TO SPONSORED FILMS In 2006 the National Film Preservation Foundation published The Field Guide to Sponsored Films by Rick Prelinger. Made possible by a grant from the Mellon Foundation, this annotated filmography singles out 452 sponsored films of particular historical, cultural, and artistic interest from the more than 300,000 thought to have been made. From animated propaganda in Technicolor to a call for racial tolerance from Frank Sinatra, these films often go overlooked in the study of film history. Made by corporations, schools, medical organizations, religious groups, political entities, and more, these films were produced to record, orient, train, sell, and persuade. Calling attention to these films was the first step. Because most films in the guide are unavailable for study and those that can be viewed are often available only in subpar viewing quality, the NFPF has partnered with the Library of Congress and the Internet Archive to make 135 films featured in the guide available for viewing, with most also available for free download. Also contributing to this digital access project are A/V Geeks, George Eastman Museum, Hagley Museum and Library, The Museum of Modern Art, National Archives and Records Administration, Northeast Historic Film, Orgone Archive, Prelinger Archives, Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, UCLA Film & Television Archive, and USC School of Cinematic Arts Hugh M. Hefner Moving Image Archive. This program is free thanks to the support of the City of Takoma Park and the Maryland Film Office. Note: This program is promoted heavily beyond Meetup so don't presume that the number of RSVPs here constitutes the entire audience. Unfortunately Meetup has changed their design so we can no longer count people who attend who didn't RSVP via Meetup as part of the headcount.

Takoma Park Community Center (Administration, Housing, Recreation, Auditorium)

7500 Maple Avenue · Takoma Park, MD

What we're about

Public Group

Docs In Progress is dedicated to empowering independent documentary filmmakers and educating the general public on documentary film. We do this through a variety of public programs, including moderated screenings of documentary works in progress, roundtables for documentary filmmakers to connect and learn from each other and guest experts, workshops on all aspects of documentary-making and documentary appreciation; and other fun events for documentary filmmakers, aspiring documentary filmmakers, and film afficionados alike. This Meetup represents only a fraction of all that Docs In Progress has to offer for emerging and established documentary filmmakers. Visit ( for more.

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