The National Film Preservation Foundation’s Board of Directors announced the appointment of Jeff Lambert as the new Executive Director of the foundation, effective September 1.
Jeff Lambert, the NFPF Assistant Director since 2002, has worked with the foundation for 16 years. As manager of the NFPF grants for more than a decade, he directed the growth of the nationwide program that has served 272 cultural institutions across all 50 states and preserved thousands of motion pictures that would have been unlikely to survive without public support. In 2003, he worked with The Film Foundation to create the Avant-Garde Masters Grants, the first American grant program to target the preservation of experimental film. Now in its 12th year, the NFPF-TFF collaboration has saved works by 53 celebrated film artists, from Kenneth Anger to Andy Warhol. Jeff was the prime mover behind the award-winning NFPF DVD set Treasures IV: American Avant-Garde Film, 1947-1986 as well as the NFPF’s recent web premieres through Fandor, and is now completing production of Treasures 6: Next Wave Avant-Garde. Jeff has taught at San Francisco State University and served on the board of the San Francisco Cinematheque. He has written film criticism for The Nashville Scene and Senses of Cinema.
“The NFPF is tremendously fortunate to have recruited such a experienced preservationist to take the reins as Executive Director at this key moment in the foundation’s development,” said Roger Mayer, chair of the NFPF Board. “He brings to his new position a thorough knowledge of NFPF operations as well as the energy, determination, and passion to build the national and international infrastructure and connections that will be essential to film preservation’s future. The Board unanimously supports his appointment.”
Jeff takes the position long held by Annette Melville, who will retire from the NFPF on August 30. As co-author of Film Preservation 1993 and Redefining Film Preservation, Annette helped coordinate the planning effort that led to the creation of the NFPF by Congress in 1996. Launching the NFPF as its first staff member the next year, Annette led the foundation for 17 years, initiating, raising money for, and directing many successful national and international projects. For the first—Treasures from American Film Archives in 2000—18 of America’s premier film archives joined forces with the foundation to preserve films and release highlights for the first time on DVD. The resulting DVD set inaugurated the award-winning Treasures DVD series through which 233 rare and historically important films have been made publicly available with new music and program notes and rediscovered for study and teaching. Annette also initiated the national projects that produced The Field Guide to Sponsored Film (2006), by Rick Prelinger, and the award-winning Film Preservation Guide, for which she is the uncredited author. More recently, she forged American alliances with the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, The New Zealand Archive of Film, Television and Sound, and EYE Filmmuseum in Amsterdam that have preserved and made available some 220 American films that no longer survived in the United States, including “lost” films by John Ford, Mabel Normand, and Alfred Hitchcock. More than 50 films saved via the Australian and New Zealand partnerships are now available for streaming from the NFPF website. All told, the NFPF received 18 national and international awards on her watch. Thanks, Annette, and best wishes!
The National Film Preservation Foundation (www.filmpreservation.org) is the nonprofit charitable affiliate of the National Film Preservation Board of the Library of Congress. Since starting operations in 1997, the NFPF has helped save some 2,100 films at archives, libraries, and museums across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia and through partnerships with the Australia’s National Film and Sound Archive, The New Zealand Archive of Film, Television and Sound, and EYE Filmmuseum. The NFPF makes films available through its website and the award-winning Treasures DVD series.