Internet Archive Celebrates 1927 Works’ Arrival in Public Domain with Short Film Contest
For the contest, vintage images and sounds were woven into creative films of 2-3 minutes. Many of the films were abstract while others educational, they all showcased the possibility when public domain materials are made openly available and accessible for download. “The Internet Archive has spent 24 years collecting and archiving content from around the world…now is the time to see what people can do with it,” said Amir Saber Esfahani, director of special arts projects at the Internet Archive.
The counsel from Creative Commons helped judged all 47 entries, with winners finally chosen “based on creativity, technique, engagement, and variety of content.”
The winning entries include “The Public Domain Race,” a montage of newly-uncopyrighted 1927 film clips and cartoons. And the honorable mentions include short films showing, among other things, 2023 filmmaker Sam Dody serenading a lovestruck silent film star from 1927 — and the story of why Mae West once spent eight days in jail.
But the big first-place prize of $1,500 went to Gnats Gonzales for reciting a poem that was emblazoned over the artwork and title pages of 1927 works that have finally entered the public domain. “… Let not kings nor selective texts decide what is known among you. Ignore the temptation of hippocampal decay. Plunge into the dark depths. And feel the warmth of mortal creation at its purest.”
That last quote appears over a 1927 movie poster showing a woman smashing pies into the face of Oliver Hardy.
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