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It was a night to celebrate when UCLA Film & Television Archive graduate student interns had the opportunity to meet the alumni whose student films they restored and screened at the Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum. The December 1 program, UCLA Student Film Restorations: Present Preserving the Past(opens in a new tab), was the culmination of an internship that took place over a 10-week period. Under the supervision of Archive staff, the inaugural group of three interns inspected, digitally restored and preserved three UCLA student films(opens in a new tab) from the 1970s and 1980s. The screening was followed by a conversation with the filmmakers and graduate students. Present Preserving the Past was funded by the Myra Reinhard Family Foundation.

Interns gained experience addressing a public audience during the screening of the newly restored films at the Billy Wilder Theater. At the podium, Christina Scholze, with Lily Lubin (left), and Gabz Norte.
Project participants (from left): Archive Public Programmer Amanda Salazar, student interns Lily Lubin, Christina Scholze and Gabz Norte; John Campbell, partner of UCLA alumnus filmmaker Norman Yonemoto, UCLA alumni filmmakers Lilian Wu ’71, MFA ’76, MBA ’79, and S. Torriano Berry ’85; Archive staff Senior Film Preservationist Jillian Border, Motion Picture Curator Todd Wiener and Research and Study Center Officer Maya Montañez Smuckler.
Scanning and editing together the best elements from the 16mm A/B original negatives and additional negative rolls were among the first steps taken by intern Christina Scholze to restore Second Campaign (1969), alumnus Norman Yonemoto’s film about protestors at a now-historic People’s Park Protest in Berkeley. Digitally fixing dirt and visible splice lines and restoring audio came next.
Intern Gabz Norte restored alumnus S. Torriano Berry’s film Rich (1983), an intimate character study of a soon-to-be high school graduate determined to go to college despite the forces of his inner-city neighborhood. After scanning the film from 16mm A/B original negatives, Norte edited together and conformed the picture files, removed dirt digitally and color graded the film to create a consistent look.
The original negative of alumna Lilian Wu’s In Transit: The Chinese in California (1977), a unique blend of animation, live-action, and still photography, was lost. Intern Lily Rubin’s restoration relied on a heavily circulated 16mm print. Given the use history of this print, Rubin meticulously worked to digitally fix countless scratches and dirt that accumulated from wear and tear.



UCLA Student Film Restorations: Present Preserving the Past

Check out the trailer for the program.
Present Preserving Trailer screenshot