Nitrate Film FestivalCountdown to the 4th Nitrate Picture Show at the George Eastman Museum May 4–6

The George Eastman Museum will present the 4th Nitrate Picture Show on May 4–6, 2018, at the Dryden Theatre in Rochester, NY.  The 4th Nitrate Picture Show has been generously funded by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Imagine Monroe (powered by COMIDA).  The schedule for this year’s festival includes ten programs of feature-length and short films from eleven international archives and collections. The titles in this year’s lineup will be revealed at 9 a.m. on Friday, May 4.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recently named the George Eastman Museum a recipient of its 2018 FilmWatch grant, with an award of $10,000 to support the Nitrate Picture Show.  In addition, the museum has once again received sponsorship support for the festival from Imagine Monroe (powered by COMIDA), in the amount of $10,000. Funding from both the Academy and Imagine Monroe will enhance the festival experience for the more than 400 passholders that will be heading to Rochester from around the country and the world for the Nitrate Picture Show this week.

A limited number of festival passes are still available and can be purchased at Passes entitle participants to three days of film screenings, talks, and demonstrations, as well as a reception on Saturday night and museum admission throughout the festival weekend.

The featured speakers for the 4th Nitrate Picture Show are Mikko Kuutti, deputy director of the National Audiovisual Institute in Finland, and Paul C. Spehr, former assistant chief of the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division at the Library of Congress.

Mikko Kuutti is an architect by education, specialized in building conservation and restoration. He researched film cold storage in his master’s thesis and finds the chemistry and technology of celluloid fascinating. He is currently secretary general of ACE, the association of European film archives and was previously deputy head of the Technical Commission of FIAF, the International Federation of Film Archives. Kuutti’s talk will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, May 4.

Paul C. Spehr, retired from the Library of Congress, continues to contribute to the revived interest in the early years of film history through his articles, participation in symposia, and efforts in saving our film heritage. Spehr will deliver his talk, which will be the Eastman Museum’s annual James Card Memorial Lecture, on Friday, May 4 at 3 p.m. Spehr is on the board of Thanhouser Company Film Preservation Inc. and the Albanian Cinema Project, as well as the editorial board for the journal Film History. He is a member of the Association of Moving Image Archivists and of Domitor, the international society for the study of early cinema. He is currently working on a book on the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company in the years prior to 1908. Both talks will be held in the Dryden Theatre, and are included with the festival pass.

To view the full schedule of events for the 4th Nitrate Picture Show, visit


Festival Passes: May 4–6, 2018

  • Patron Pass: $250

  • Festival Pass: $150

  • Student/Eastman Museum Member: $125

Beginning at 9 a.m. on Friday, May 4, single-screening tickets will be available first come, first served at the Dryden Theatre box office.

  • General admission: $20

  • Student/Eastman Museum Member: $18

  • Ages 17 & under: $5

The 4th Nitrate Picture Show is supported in part by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and by Imagine Monroe (powered by COMIDA). Additional support is provided by Scott O. Harbert.

About the George Eastman Museum Nitrate Collection
The George Eastman Museum holds one of the largest collections of nitrate prints in the United States, preserved at the Louis B. Mayer Conservation Center, a state-of-the-art facility located 12 miles southwest of Rochester. The museum’s collection of more than 6,000 nitrate titles covers the history of cinema made during the nitrate era, from Edison and the Lumière brothers to the final studio productions filmed on the illustrious celluloid. The Eastman Museum is a member of the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF), the world’s leading group in the field of film conservation and preservation.

About the George Eastman Museum
Founded in 1947, the George Eastman Museum is the world’s oldest photography museum and one of the largest film archives in the United States, located on the historic Rochester estate of entrepreneur and philanthropist George Eastman, the pioneer of popular photography. Its holdings comprise more than 400,000 photographs, 28,000 motion picture films, the world’s preeminent collection of photographic and cinematographic technology, one of the leading libraries of books related to photography and cinema, and extensive holdings of documents and other objects related to George Eastman. As a research and teaching institution, the Eastman Museum has an active publishing program and, through its two joint master’s degree programs with the University of Rochester, makes critical contributions to film preservation and to photographic preservation and collections management. For more information, visit

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