Film Restoration Initiative

IndieCollect restores important films that reflect a broad spectrum of American independent cinema. Browse our exciting list of restorations below — completed, in the pipeline, and waiting in the wings.

These restorations are funded through grants, donations, crowdfunding campaigns, and the filmmakers’ own savings. You can choose to support one film in particular or back our overall initiative through a gift or grant to IndieCollect.

A TAX DEDUCTION & ON-SCREEN CREDIT TOO!

Donations to our film restorations are tax-deductible and offer sponsors and donors an opportunity for on-screen credit.

Are We Winning, Mommy? American and the Cold War

Are We Winning, Mommy? America and the Cold War (1986)

Directed by Barbara Margolis

A witty and incisive examination of the roots of the Cold War and its effects on American life, this award-winning film features historical footage from European and American archives and revealing interviews with key players on both sides of the Atlantic. How mass media shaped our attitudes about the Cold War over four decades is illustrated with examples, both comic and chilling, from Hollywood movies, TV programs, and animated cartoons.

Are We Winning, Mommy? was shot on film; it is not available in a state-of-the-art 4K digital format that theaters and online platforms today require.

Support the 4K restoration of Are We Winning, Mommy? with your tax-deductible donation now!

Cane River

Cane River (1981)

Directed by Horace Jenkins

Cane River is a touching and provocative love story set in a “free community of color” in Louisiana. The families of the young lovers disapprove because their relationship violates the barrier between the light-skinned land-owning creoles and the landless, darker-skinned families descended from slaves. These distinctions based on color and class have not gone away, making the film an eerily relevant time capsule.

After the film’s 1992 premiere in New Orleans, a jubilant occasion, director Horace Jenkins died suddenly of a heart attack, and this amazing film was shelved for 35 years.

Cane River was shot on film; it is not available in a state-of-the-art 4K digital format that theaters and online platforms today require.

With partial funding from the Roger & Chaz Ebert Foundation, and in cooperation with the Academy Film Archive and the director’s heirs, Dominique Jenkins and Sacha Jenkins, it is being restored so it can be seen on the big screen at last.

The Cane River restoration has been featured in the New York Times and The Takaway.

Support the 4K restoration of Cane River with your tax-deductible donation now!

A Comedy in Six Unnatural Acts

Jan Oxenberg's Lesbian Film Collection

A Comedy in Six Unnatural Acts (1975)

In Jan Oxenberg’s send-up of lesbian stereotypes, each scene satirizes a different Hollywood film genre — the source of many such stereotypes. LA film critic Bridget Byrne wrote that A Comedy in Six Unnatural Acts is “as witty and clever in execution as in concept.”

It was so controversial that New York’s public television channel dropped the film from its line-up – a decision they later reversed in response to protests by the LGBT community. It’s now in use by scholars of lesbian and feminist film studies in colleges across America.

Home Movie (1973)

Using her family’s home movie footage and her own trademark talent for parody, Jan Oxenberg gives herself a cheerful lesbian childhood. “The thing I liked best about being a cheerleader was being with the other cheerleaders... the football match was just an excuse.”

A Comedy in Six Unnatural Acts and Home Movie were shot on film. They are not available in a state-of-the-art digital format that theaters and online platforms today require.

Support the 4K restoration of Jan Oxenberg's Lesbian Films with your tax-deductible donation now!

Gold

Gold (1972)

Directed by Bob Levis

In 1968, filmmaker Bob Levis led a rag-tag band of dreamers, drop-outs and drug-happy darlings into the wilderness to make a movie. He emerged with Gold, a bizarre and beautiful journey into a dizzying day-glow hippie paradise. This horse opera cum anarchist manifesto contains so much nudity that it could not be shown in theaters at the time.

Starring the godfather of improvisational comedy Del Close, along with Garry Goodrow (Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice), and fueled by the hard-kicking sounds of MC5, Gold is a glorious testament to a time when the world was ready for change, and counter-culture renegades turned it upside-down. Considered a lost film for 40 years, Gold has been found again.

Shot on film, Gold is not available in a state-of-the-art digital format that theaters and online platforms today require.

Support the 4K restoration of Gold with your tax-deductible donation now!

Thank You and Good Night

Thank You and Good Night (1991)

Directed by Jan Oxenberg

“Members of my family tend to hold onto the last drop of misery,” claims lesbian filmmaker Jan Oxenberg in this alternately hilarious and moving film.

Portraying herself as a cartoonish cardboard cutout that smiles or scowls, the filmmaker wryly questions why people die, how we deal with loss, and what happens after we die. While there are few specifically gay or lesbian references, Thank You and Goodnight sent shock waves of empathy and recognition through the communities most affected by AIDS losses.

— Second Annual Lesbian and Gay Film and Video Film Festival of Toronto

Thank You and Good Night was shot on film; it is not available in a state-of-the-art digital format that theaters and online platforms today require.

Support the 4K restoration of Thank You and Good Night with your tax-deductible donation now!

Thousand Pieces of Gold

Thousand Pieces of Gold (1991)

Directed by Nancy Kelly

Developed at the Sundance Lab and based on the biographical novel by Ruthanne Lum McCunn, this is the real-life story of Lalu, a young Chinese woman whose desperately poor parents sell her into slavery. Transported to America as chattel in the 1880s, she is bought by sleazy saloonkeeper Hong King, who forces her into prostitution. When she rebels, he trades her to a new owner, Charlie. Charlie opens the door to a brave new world — for Lalu and for himself.

Chris Cooper (Lone Star, American Beauty) as Charlie and Rosalind Chao (Joy Luck Club) as Lalu give stunning performances; and DP Bobby Bukowski captures the magnificent frontier landscapes. Dealing with immigration, sex trafficking and forced marriage, this marvelous film is startlingly contemporary.

Shot on film, Thousand Pieces of Gold is not available in a state-of-the-art digital format that theaters and online platforms today require.

Support the 4K restoration of Thousand Pieces of Gold with your tax-deductible donation now!

War At Home

The War at Home (1979)

Directed by Glenn Silber & Barry Alexander Brown

By the late 1960s, the U.S. antiwar movement had spread from the Ivy League campuses to America's heartland. In Madison, student protests at the University of Wisconsin threatened to escalate into civic unrest when a bomb — intended for an army research facility — exploded and killed a physics student. The War at Home was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature and went on to achieve remarkable theatrical success.

The War at Home was shot on film; it is not available in a state-of-the-art digital format that theaters and online platforms today require.

Support 4K restoration of The War at Home with your tax-deductible donation now!

RESTORATIONS IN PROGRESS

The Atomic Café

The Atomic Cafe (1982)

Directed by Kevin Rafferty, Jayne Loader & Pierce Rafferty

This darkly humorous documentary consists of archival footage about nuclear warfare. Drawing largely on government propaganda and training films for American soldiers, the movie, presented in collage form, features clips from early in the Cold War era that are filled with alarming misinformation. Some segments address the alleged safety of nuclear radiation, "duck and cover" drills and other related topics, including instructions for living in a fallout shelter.

Support 4K restoration of The Atomic Cafe with your tax-deductible donation now!

Blues by the Beach

Blues by the Beach (2004)

Directed by Josh Faudem & Jack Baxter

Fate brings filmmakers together in Israel in April of 2003. They begin a documentary about a live music blues bar by the beach in Tel Aviv called Mike’s Place.

The aim is to show there is more to the Middle East than seemingly endless war and terrorism. Filming people having a good time stops abruptly when harsh reality hits Mike’s Place and changes the course of their film...

Official Website

Official Trailer

Conversations with Willard Van Dyke

Conversations with Willard Van Dyke (1981)

Directed by Amalie R. Rothschild

In 1935 photographer Willard Van Dyke moved to New York with the belief that films "could change the world" and began a new career as a filmmaker. His name soon became synonymous with social documentary in the U.S. His images of cottonfields, steelmills and industrial towns, and his portraits of unemployed factory workers and their families, provide an invaluable chronicle of those years and have become timeless examples of cinematic art. A candid portrait of a distinguished and outspoken man, this film includes conversations with colleagues Ralph Steiner, Joris Ivens and Donald Richie; footage of Edward Weston, his close friend and mentor; and many excerpts. It explores the dilemma of anyone with a social conscience who must face the harsh realities of earning a living while retaining their integrity. And it reveals a man in his seventies still determined to do good creative work.

Available through New Day Films

In The Soup

In The Soup (1992)

Directed by Alexandre Rockwell

In The Soup is an acclaimed independent feature comedy by director Alexandre Rockwell. In rich black and white, it's the story of an aspiring young New York filmmaker (Steve Buscemi) in the throes of his creative struggle, his beautiful neighbor and muse (Jennifer Beals), and a lovable con man (Seymour Cassel), chasing their dreams in quintessential 1990s NYC amidst a cast of oddball characters played by Stanley Tucci, Sam Rockwell, Will Patton, Jim Jarmusch, Debi Mazar, Carol Kane, and others.

Kickstarter Campaign

It Happens to Us

It Happens to Us (1972)

Directed by Amalie R. Rothschild

Each of the main four methods are fully described by a physician and pertinent medical statistics are interspersed throughout. It presents the most cogent arguments, through the personal stories of a wide range of women both rich and poor, young and older, black and white, married and unmarried, as to why ending a pregnancy must remain an available choice. In particular, it reminds people of the consequences when it was illegal and what life was like before the Roe vs Wade 1973 Supreme Court decision.

Available through New Day Films

Kaddish

Kaddish (1984)

Directed by Steve Brand

Presents a portrait of Yossi Klein, the son of a Holocaust survivor, who struggles to develop an outlook on life that will help him to cope with his father's victimization, his later death, and the uncertain future of the Jewish people. Kaddish focuses on his ability to affirm life despite his father's death camp experiences.

New York Times review

Lineage

Lineage (1979)

Directed by George Griffin

Lineage traces a circuitous thread through synthetic times and spaces to recover a lost age in innocence, when photography and magic tricks merged into 'movies'. The agent in this investigation is a square man who appears as a line drawing on an artist's table, as a paper-thin puppet in a vaguely Deco set, and as a 'real' man in the street though not, as logic would seen to dictate, in that particular order. In fact, logic is constructed in Lineage only to be parodied. As an antidote to the accepted avant-garde practice of artistic patricide the film searches for and ultimately confirms its own heritage. The traditions established by Melies, Cohl, Fleischer, Richter, and Fischinger are invoked through a series of visual and verbal essays, self-mocking introspections, and fictional oral histories.

"This seminal work brilliantly proves that animation–far from being cinema's stepchild–is actually one of its glories. Griffin offers the most explicit philosophical confrontation on film–though dressed in amiguity and irony–of basic issues of ceontemporary art: illusionsm, formalism, reflexivity, the narrative, the time-space continuum, causality, contradiction. This heavy agenda, however, is triumphantly overcome by playfulness: anti-didactic at its core, delicately balancing reason and emotion, the work exudes anti-authoritarianism by its refusal to provide neat solutions, dazzling us instead witrh delicious, infinite contradictions involving voice and image, self and other, drawings an photography, reality and illusion, past and present, space ant time. To top it all, while purporting to 'reveal' the processes and secrets of animation, its nature and aesthetics, this jesting philosopher/magician actually entanagles us more firmly into the web of its mysterious powers. 'I trace my line to find who I am.' It's good to be along on the journey."

— Amos Vogel, Film Comment

Meadows Green

Meadows Green (1974)

Directed by D.D. Halleck & George Griffin

A personal documentary of the Bread and Puppet Theater's 1974 performance, 'The Domestic Resurrection Circus', which combines live action with animation to evoke the creative spirit of this group.

The energy and extraordinary invention of the Bread and Puppet Theatre comes through loud and clear. My mouth fell open, I had not had a chance to see such a performance. The film put me right there with it."

— James Blue

Nana, Mom and Me

Nana, Mom and Me (1974)

Directed by Amalie R. Rothschild

Using photographs, old home movies and direct interviews Amalie R. Rothschild explores the mother-daughter ties in 3 generations of her own family and in the process explores the classic female problem faced by her artist mother: the conflict between work and children--the necessary compromises, the incumbent anxieties. The structure is intentionally loose and open-ended, like a good conversation, emphasizing the need to ask the right questions rather than give pat answers.

Available through New Day Films

Painting the Town: The Illusionistic Murals of Richard Haas

Painting the Town: The Illusionistic Murals of Richard Haas (1990)

Directed by Amalie R. Rothschild

Amalie Rothschild has fashioned her own exuberant and exemplary film mural based on the life and very-public work of the celebrated architectural muralist Richard Haas. Since 1974 Haas's "trompe l'oeil" paintings have enhanced the appearance of dozens of buildings across America. They restore a sense of cultural history to a nation that is becoming increasingly denatured. His work is at once heroic and witty. He is an artist with a mission-to make the urban environment visually pleasurable, and therefore more livable and humane. Seamlessly using all the techniques available to the documentary filmmaker, including animation, Rothschild has created a spritely modernist portrait of an artist with notable zeal.

— Larry Kardish, Sundance Film Festival 1990

Woo Who? May Wilson

Woo Who? May Wilson (1970)

Directed by Amalie R. Rothschild

This pioneering film, made in 1969 before the women’s liberation movement of the 1970s, is a vibrant portrait of the artist. We see her acquiring young new friends and a new self-image, and we watch her gain success as "Grandma Moses of the Underground." We enter into her distinctive world and share her innermost thoughts about artistic process, about the difficult readjustment to being on her own, and about becoming a full-time artist later in life.

Available through New Day Films