The American Genre Film Archive

AGFA is raising money to help save endangered 35mm film prints, starting with THE ASTROLOGER!
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Tommy Swenson
Film
Austin, Texas
United States
14 Team Members


The American Genre Film Archive (AGFA) is housed at a secret location in Austin, Texas and is home to the rarest and wildest exploitation and horror titles in cinema history!

As the digital era supplants 35mm film and studios let preservation fall by the wayside, a huge swath of movie history could disappear forever. Film prints have a limited lifespan. Like human beings, all prints are inevitably headed to the dumpster. However, with proper storage and care, we can prolong the lives of these prints and ensure that the movies themselves endure the ravages of time. AGFA preserves the orphan films that are moldering in storage units or being disposed of into the dark abyss of the ocean. Regardless of "artistic" merit, these movies are important. And fun! AGFA is here to give them a home.

The American Genre Film Archive specializes in horror, sleaze, action, and independent regional filmmaking, as well as international genre cinema with an emphasis on films from Hong Kong. Housing over 3,000 film prints, this non-profit archive counts among its board members and advisors Alamo Drafthouse founders Tim and Karrie League, filmmakers Nicolas Winding Refn and Paul Thomas Anderson, and Austin area film programmers and movie fans.

Access is a crucial part of preservation. These films are not meant to sit in a vault. They are meant to be played for audiences. These films come to life when audiences enjoy them. Every year, AGFA loans hundreds of prints to arthouse institutions, film societies, festivals, libraries, and universities. A fundamental component of the mission is to make sure that people actually see these movies.

For some titles, AGFA's print is the only one that exists. These fragile and endangered titles can't be safely loaned out due to risk of damage or of being lost. In order to share these nearly-extinct treasures, AGFA is undertaking a new initiative.

The mission is to complete 2K transfers of these endangered titles, and then create digital duplicates. In the future, AGFA will be able to carefully restore and strike new prints of films that are in danger of being lost. But for now, we want to make sure that they stay accessible for everyone. These films can be seen as frescos that are about to crumble off of walls without even having been documented. This initiative will essentialy photograph these frescos so they can be seen and shared. While AGFA is still dedicated to 35mm presentation, we want to make digital copies available of the rarest of the rare in our collection until full restorations can be made.

The very first film that AGFA is setting out to preserve is Craig Denny's THE ASTROLOGER (1975). Two films called THE ASTROLOGER were released in 1975 but Denny's is the most compelling and mystifying. 

This self-financed movie stars Denny, a real-life astrologer. It concerns his (fictional) rise to fame as the personal star gazer to the President of the United States. Denny's character becomes so famous that he decides to make a film within the film called THE ASTROLOGER, which stars himself. 

THE ASTROLOGER is an intensely strange time capsule and a vision from a unique voice in American cinema -- the self-produced madman. It's AGFA's duty to preserve incredible work like this. There's no other movie like THE ASTROLOGER. It deserves to be seen.

The American Genre Film Archive exists because of a tangible need. AGFA has saved prints from landfills, incinerators, and from literally being tossed into the sea. It serves as a sanctuary for endangered movies that no one cares about, but should.

Every act of heroism that goes into the maintenance of the collection is simply done by people who believe in AGFA and what the future of exploitation films can be. All of the work is done on a shoestring (or no-shoestring). AGFA needs your support to keep growing and save these films from disappearing.

    

Step forward, film lovers! Help AGFA save cinema! Now is the time to act! Even Superman needed to be raised by somebody. When that Krypton spaceship crashed, there was just a little baby in it. AGFA needs its own Ma and Pa Kent to step forward. It needs help to become the titanic mammoth that will save the world.


One of the perks at right is for the dubious honor of selecting the title for an upcoming Terror Tuesday or Weird Wednesday screening. Just what are Terror Tuesday and Weird Wednesday? The two most insane film series anywhere on the planet and happening every week at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz in Austin.

Terror Tuesday scavenges the gutters for the most shocking and seldom seen 35mm visceral treasures, guaranteed to leave you gasping for air, thirsting for blood or, at the very least, scratching your head. The eclectic series features offerings that span the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, most of which are rarely (or never) screened in theaters and often not even available on video or DVD. Terror Tuesday is officially the new ground zero for decapitation, evisceration, degradation, and mutilation. 

Since 2001, Weird Wednesday has been the home of exploitation classics -- from cheerleaders gone bad to blaxploitation, from killer mutant animals to women in prison. Many of these films are so obscure that little is known or has been written about them. Some of them are challenging, all of them are enjoyable, and a rare few are mind-blowingly amazing. Weird Wednesday is the vanguard of exploitation cinema exploration.

  

Part of the mission at the Alamo Drafthouse is to provide audiences with a first-class film education. That refers to not only the sort of movie "classics" that are seen and discussed in our nation's finer film schools, but also movies that have never been seen in any educational context at all. These movies may be depraved and disreputable in many cases but they represent an important period, now long gone, in both movie and social history.

If you love movies, you love AGFA -- even if you've never heard of it. If you recognize the fun that is intrinsically part of movies, AGFA might be the only archive out there that feels the same way. The American Genere Film Archive exists specifically to celebrate the fun of movies and to keep that fun alive for eternity. Or at least the next few hundred years. 

Find This Campaign On
$17,732USD
raised by 337 people in 1 month
118% funded
No time left
Verified Nonprofit
$15,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on June 5, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $5USD
    Thank You!

    You are a hero and a pal! Thank you for your help to preserve American genre film history!

    31 claimed
  • $15USD
    Ticket to THE ASTROLOGER

    A ticket to a screening of the new digital transfer of THE ASTROLOGER at any participating Alamo Drafthouse.

    21 claimed
  • $15USD
    Ticket to AGFA MYSTERY MOVIE

    A ticket to a 35mm screening of a mystery movie from the vaults of AGFA at any participating Alamo Drafthouse.

    14 claimed
  • $20USD
    Custom Mix CD

    A unique custom made mix cd of exploitation and genre film soundtrack music curated by the AGFA staff.

    33 claimed
  • $25USD
    Professional Astrology Reading

    Divine your destiny! Plus, get a ticket to either of the above screenings.

    5 claimed
  • $25USD
    Astrologer Tarot Card Deck

    Your very own tarot card deck with the Astrologer titlecard and AGFA logo on the back of each card. Plus, get a ticket to either of the above screenings.

    38 claimed
  • $30USD
    AGFA T-Shirt

    Get a cool AGFA t-shirt for your torso. Plus, get a ticket to either of the above screenings.

    57 claimed
  • SOLD OUT

    $50USD
    Fantastic Fest opening night

    A guaranteed seat for the opening night film at Fantastic Fest 2014. No badge necessary!

    1 out of 1 claimed
  • SOLD OUT

    $50USD
    Fantastic Fest closing night

    A guaranteed seat for the closing night film at Fantastic Fest 2014. No badge necessary!

    1 out of 1 claimed
  • $100USD
    Throw a pie at Tim

    Hit Tim League in the face with a pie. You know you want to. Plus, get a ticket to either of the above screenings.

    0 claimed
  • $125USD
    A Shelf In The Archive

    Get a shelf named after you! Who knows, maybe a print of BRUCE LEE FIGHTS BACK FROM THE GRAVE will forever sit on a shelf bearing your name. Plus, get a ticket to either of the above screenings and an AGFA hat.

    30 out of 150 claimed
  • SOLD OUT

    $130USD
    Fantastic Fest 2nd half badge

    Good for all screenings Monday-Thursday at Fantastic Fest 2014. 2nd-half festival badge-holders will be seated at the same time as the regular badge holders for the second half of the fest. The 2nd-half festival badge also includes access to all of the Fantastic Fest parties in the 2nd-half of the fest, including the closing night party.

    1 out of 1 claimed
  • SOLD OUT

    $150USD
    Terror Tuesday/Weird Wednesday

    Nowhere screens more AGFA prints than the Terror Tuesday and Weird Wednesday screening series at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz! This is YOUR CHANCE TO CHOOSE what plays! Pick from a wide list curated by the programmers. You can also choose what trailers play in front of the film and co-intro the film. You and 3 of your friends will get reserved seats, popcorn and a pitcher of beer or soda. The fate of the audience is in your hands!

    6 out of 6 claimed
  • SOLD OUT

    $150USD
    Program ZZANG!!!

    There is absolutely no disputing that the 80s were The Decade of FUN. Neon-streaked good times exploded worldwide and ZZANG!!! is the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz's monthly tribute to the films of the 80s. And this is YOUR CHANCE TO CHOOSE what plays! Pick from a wide list curated by the programmers. You can also choose what trailers play in front of the film and co-intro the film. You and 3 of your friends will get reserved seats, popcorn and a pitcher of beer or soda.

    1 out of 1 claimed
  • SOLD OUT

    $150USD
    Mondo DRIVE Poster

    A rare, original Mondo print by Tyler Stout. Check it out: http://ow.ly/xlZ1e

    1 out of 1 claimed
  • SOLD OUT

    $150USD
    Program BANGARANG!

    Ninja Turtles, Hulk Hogan and the greatest action movies of all time. The 90s were WILD and BANGARANG! is the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz's monthly tribute to the films of that ridiculous decade. And this is YOUR CHANCE TO CHOOSE what plays! Pick from a wide list curated by the programmers. You can also choose what trailers play in front of the film and co-intro the film. You and 3 of your friends will get reserved seats, popcorn and a pitcher of beer or soda.

    1 out of 1 claimed
  • $150USD
    Program CINEMA COCKTAILS

    At our monthly CINEMA COCKTAILS series at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz, we pair the finest drinks with the greatest drinking films. And this is YOUR CHANCE TO CHOOSE what plays! Pick from a wide list curated by the programmers. You can also choose what trailers play in front of the film and co-intro the film. You and 3 of your friends will get reserved seats, popcorn and a pitcher of beer or soda.

    0 out of 1 claimed
  • SOLD OUT

    $150USD
    Program TOUGH GUY CINEMA

    TOUGH GUY CINEMA is the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz's monthly salute to the strongest of the strong showcasing the greatest action movies of all time. And this is YOUR CHANCE TO CHOOSE what plays! Pick from a wide list curated by the programmers. You can also choose what trailers play in front of the film and co-intro the film. You and 3 of your friends will get reserved seats, popcorn and a pitcher of beer or soda.

    1 out of 1 claimed
  • SOLD OUT

    $200USD
    Mondo BOOGIE NIGHTS Poster

    A rare, original Mondo print by Rockin' Jelly Bean. Check it out: http://ow.ly/xlYya

    1 out of 1 claimed
  • $200USD
    Rent an AGFA print

    Available to any qualified institution capable of 35mm reel-to-reel projection. Donate at this level and your next AGFA print rental is covered!

    4 claimed
  • $250USD
    Adopt-A-Print

    Just like those old Sally Struthers ads. You will receive a dossier with photos of the print, a print inspection report signed by the AGFA chief archivist, and a thank you letter from the print! Plus, get a ticket to either of the above screenings and an AGFA hat.

    7 claimed
  • SOLD OUT

    $500USD
    Plan a movie marathon!

    At the Alamo, we love to do mystery marathons celebrating our most beloved on screen heroes. Past marathons have been devoted to Kurt Russell, Nicolas Cage and Meryl Streep. This is your chance to choose the hero of the next marathon and work with the programmers to decide on the lineup!

    1 out of 1 claimed
  • $1,000USD
    Movie Party

    A movie party at the Alamo Drafthouse with beer (or soda), popcorn and a screening of the movie of your choice from ANY of the 35mm prints in the American Genre film archive for you and up to 40 of your friends. Plus, get a ticket to either of the above screenings.

    2 out of 10 claimed
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