Frequently Asked Questions

How does The Film Foundation select a project for restoration? What factors go into this decision?

The Film Foundation’s member archives propose projects annually, outlining and prioritizing the films that are in the most dire need. The foundation’s Board of Directors reviews the proposals and allocates funding to projects, weighing several factors including the physical condition and scarcity of the elements as well as the cultural and historical significance of the films.

On average, how long does the restoration process take? How much does it cost?

The complexity and cost of a restoration varies widely according to the condition of the film, its length, and the unique technical specifications of the film. Generally, the cost of a black and white feature film with sound ranges from $50,000-$100,000. For a color feature with sound, the costs can range from $80,000-$150,000 to restore using traditional photochemical process, to several hundred thousand dollars for a 2K or 4K digital restoration. In both instances, whether photochemical or digital, new film elements are created and archived to serve as the long-term preservation element.

What are the biggest hurdles right now in accomplishing film restoration goals?

The sheer volume of films in need of preservation is daunting. Film has been so pervasive a medium that moving images can be found everywhere: libraries, schools, historical societies, corporations, homes, in addition to motion picture studios and distributors. In addition, there is a widespread misperception that film on television, DVD or Blu-ray, is protected. While there can be a decent digital master of a film, the original elements may still be in danger of deterioration or loss.

Preservation and restoration is an ongoing process. Films that were preserved 20 years ago must be upgraded to better film stock, or to benefit from improvements in digital technology. As technology changes and improves, preservation is ongoing. And the cost of restoration, particularly, extensive digital restoration, is a challenge but then you see the magnificent results, as in THE RED SHOES, LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN, RASHOMON, WILD RIVER, and IL GATTOPARDO for example.

How can I get a copy of the Story of Movies program?

The Teacher’s Guide and Student Activities booklets for each of our Story of Movies curriculum units are available for download at To download the materials, please:

1. Select “Curriculum” along the Navigation Bar
2. Select the title of your choice on the Sub-Navigation Bar on the right.
3. Select “Teacher’s Guide” or “Student Activity Booklet” under that title.
4. Select the chapter of your choice to download.
5. You will now be prompted to register to download the materials. Please keep this information handy so that you can download all of the available materials.

We have shipped out of our supplemental DVD’s at this time. To register to be put on the waiting list to receive the supplemental DVD, if they are re-printed, please select TEACHER REGISTRATION on the bottom right of the homepage (