Historic Footage from MDC’s Wolfson Archives Featured in Two Oscar-Nominated Documentaries

MIAMI, Jan. 30, 2017 – Historic footage from the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives at Miami Dade College (MDC) is featured in two films nominated for 2017 Academy Awards in the Best Documentary Feature category.

Both O.J.: Made in America, directed by Ezra Edelman and produced by Caroline Waterlow, and I Am Not Your Negro, directed by Raoul Peck and produced by Rémi Grellety and Hébert Peck, use historic footage from the Wolfson Archives to tell their stories.

“We’ve provided footage for many, many productions, from feature films to student projects, and some of those films have picked up awards,” said Rene Ramos, Wolfson Archives director. “But this is the first time we’ve had two projects nominated for Academy Awards.”

The Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives at MDC, a film and video archive dedicated to preserving and presenting the history of Florida and Florida’s people, frequently licenses footage from its collections to film, television and media producers.

“You’ve probably seen our footage somewhere, whether or not you’re a documentary fan,” added Ramos. “Footage from our collections was licensed to Documentary Now on IFC this season and there are a few shots from us in the show open for the new, Latino reboot of One Day at a Time on HBO.”

About the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Images Archives

The Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives is an official moving image repository and archives of the State of Florida and is one of the largest institutions of its kind in the United States. Lynn Wolfson helped found the Moving Image Archives in 1984, along with Ralph Renick and historian Arva Moore Parks. Named in honor of Lynn and the late Louis Wolfson II, a Florida legislator and leader in the state’s communications industry, the Archives was created under the joint sponsorship of the Miami-Dade Public Library System, Miami Dade College (MDC), and the University of Miami. Now solely operated by MDC, the Archives is taking a giant leap into the future via a 9,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility on MDC’s Wolfson Campus.

The Archives’ collections include 35,000 hours of video tape and 23 million feet of film. A local television news collection dates to the late 1940s, with footage from landmark television station WTVJ (first in Florida, 18th in the nation) as well as WPLG, WCKT, WCIX, and WINK. A television documentaries collection covers the topics of immigration, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Space Program, presidential elections, and many more global events and trends that have played out on the Florida stage. Finally, home movie holdings of over 3000 reels dating to the 1910s bring long-gone buildings, attractions, and folkways alive for new generations.

From its inception, the Archives has been awarded grants by local, state, and national funding agencies, including the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the Dade Heritage Trust, the Florida Humanities Council, the Florida Department of Historical Resources, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Film Preservation Foundation. These awards have been used to create a popular series of public programs and enable ongoing preservation work on fragile and obsolete film and video assets.

The capstone of activities at the Archives is a long-term digitization project funded generously by an additional gift from Lynn Wolfson. Film scanners and robotic videotape digitizers have been purchased that will enable Archives staff to digitize all current holdings and new acquisitions within the next 3-5 years. The digitized videos will be made available on the World Wide Web, enabling an explosion of scholarship and discovery. The State of Florida’s Department of Historical Resources has recognized the possibilities inherent in this newly digitized collection with a grant to develop a video tour of Miami’s historical buildings and sites via mobile telephones and tablets; this is but one example of new ventures that will be possible for the Archives moving forward.

For more information, visit www.wolfsonarchives.org.