Celluloid Now is a project of the Chicago Film Society.
The Chicago Film Society was founded in 2011 with a commitment to making analog motion picture film accessible to audiences through public exhibition. This seemed especially important in that moment, when analog film projection was in the process of vanishing from settings where its presence had once been treated as a given: multiplexes, arthouses, film festivals, museums, galleries, and classrooms.
Since then, the loss of the physical machinery of film projection and the skills required to project analog film prints has degraded access to countless cultural works — professional and amateur, commercial and noncommercial alike. Some of these films exist digitally only in severely diminished forms. Others don’t exist digitally at all. We have worked to protect the cultural assets and skill sets threatened by this industry-wide transition to digital video by shining a light on what makes film such a beautiful, vital, irreplaceable material and by encouraging an expansive, non-hierarchical view of its history with our programming.
CFS puts on an average of 70 screenings a year including our flagship all-analog weekly film series which spans genres, durations, continents, and the entire history of cinema, from silent films to those of the 21st century. In 2012 we began our collections and preservation program, focused on experimental and independent films, “orphaned” films without a commercial caretaker, and films which are unavailable through commercial archives or distributors. Since then, our work has expanded to include hosting educational workshops for projection and film handling and publishing Infuriating Times, a zine dedicated to exploring the changing tides of film culture and big screen exhibition.
More information about our regular screenings and other initiatives can be found at chicagofilmsociety.org.
Celluloid Now is possible thanks to its supporters.
Celluloid Now is supported in part by the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a Grants for Arts Projects award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a Multi-Year Program Support grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Programs at the Chicago Cultural Center are presented in partnership with the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.