The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in partnership with New York University and the Orphan Film Symposium, will present “The Real Indies: A Close Look at Orphan Films,” a two-day screening series on Friday, May 10, and Saturday, May 11, at the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood. The series, honoring orphan films – rarely- seen, previously neglected works deserving preservation and revival – will open on Friday at 8 p.m. with the West Coast premiere of the restoration of “Portrait of Jason,” the groundbreaking 1967 documentary feature about a gay African American by Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Shirley Clarke.
Shot at New York’s Hotel Chelsea, “Portrait of Jason” is a hybrid performance/verité documentary that profiles Jason Holliday, an engaging, self-described hustler. Academy Governor Rob Epstein and fellow documentarian Jeffrey Friedman will host the evening’s screening and take part in a post-screening onstage panel with Robert Fiore, the film’s assistant to the director, and Dennis Doros, co-founder of the independent releasing company Milestone Films, which recently restored the film in partnership with the Academy Film Archive. The evening’s panel will be moderated by film critic Elvis Mitchell.
Saturday’s program will be presented in five sessions, starting at 10:30 a.m. with films ranging from rare home movies and unique promotional films to silent rediscoveries and experimental shorts. Highlights include a screening of the unseen student film “Shit,” by director Penelope Spheeris, a presentation by Rick Prelinger, with a sneak peek at his work-in-progress “No More Road Trips?”, screenings of rarely-seen works by Saul Bass and Satyajit Ray, and premieres of restorations of Academy-Award® nominated “Exploratorium”, Jim Hoberman’s “Mission to Mongo”, and Academy-Award winning cinematographer Ray Rennahan’s “The Love Charm.”
“The Real Indies” brings together filmmakers, archivists, scholars, curators and preservationists to screen and celebrate dozens of orphan films that have lacked theatrical distribution, been rediscovered and preserved.
Tickets for Fridays screening of “Portrait of Jason” are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID, and includes a reception before the event. Doors open at 7 p.m.
All-day passes for Saturday’s sessions are $15 for the general public and $10 for Academy members and students with a valid ID. The passes include lunch (vegetarian options will be available) if purchased in advance. Tickets for individual sessions are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID. Doors open at 9:30 a.m.
Tickets and passes may be purchased beginning April 18 online at oscars.org, in person at the Academy box office at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills, or by mail.
The Linwood Dunn Theater is located at 1313 Vine Street in Hollywood.
A detailed listing of all screenings in “The Real Indies” is available at www.oscars.org/events-exhibitions/events/2013/05/real-indies.html. For more information on NYU’s Orphan Film Symposium please visit www.nyu.edu/orphanfilm. For more information on “Portrait of Jason,” please visit http://projectshirley.com/press/portraitofjason.pdf.