Saving Brinton (with filmmakers)
Opens Oct 18, 2018
October 18 only! Followed by a conversation with the filmmakers.
In a farmhouse basement on the Iowa countryside, eccentric collector and beloved history teacher Mike Zahs makes a remarkable discovery: the centuries-old showreels of the man who brought moving pictures to America's Heartland. Among the treasures: rare footage of President Teddy Roosevelt, the first moving images from Burma, a lost relic from magical effects godfather Georges Méliés. These are the films that introduced movies to the world. And they didn't end up in Iowa by accident. The old nitrate reels are just some of the artifacts that belonged to William Franklin Brinton. As Mike uncovers this hidden legacy, he begins a journey to restore the Brinton name, restore the reels, and to premiere the films at the world's oldest continuously operating
movie theatre. Saving Brinton is a portrait of this unlikely Midwestern folk hero.
"Everything the Brintons used was passed down through the family until
1981, when it arrived at Zahs’ front door. He packed all the ephemera
away into what he calls his 'Brinton room', while the films themselves
were sent to the Library of Congress, which duplicated about two-thirds
of them, quickly and simply, and sent the 16mm copies back to Zahs. The
remaining third they apparently sent back to Zahs through the US mail,
in a box labelled 'explosive'. Those original nitrate films, which are
highly flammable, were stored alongside the 16mm films in a shed. It’s
amazing that they survived.