E-mail us: amdb@ucalgary.ca

Some of the records in our database link to videos that you can watch. Click on the films below.


Quest for the Great Sperm Whale, The (Robbins Barstow , 1991)

"The story of a three-day whale watching trip in July 1991 from Gloucester, Massachusetts, USA, 100 miles out into the Atlantic Ocean to Georges Bank, to find and film sperm whales and six other species of cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises), including the never-before-filmed North Atlantic Beaked Whale. Filmed and narrated by Dr. Robbins Barstow of Wethersfield, Connecticut, USA." Archive.org

Watch: via A/V Geeks (Archive.org)


Quinta Feira, A [The Thursday] (Miguel Ángel Quintana, 1974)

Documental sobre un mercado en Barcelos, un pueblo del norte de Portugal, que se celebra todos los jueves del año. En él, se pueden encontrar hasta las cosas más inverosímiles.

Documentary about a market in Barcelos, a northern town in Portugal, that happens every Thursday of the year. In the market, even the most improbable things can be found.

Watch: Via Miguel Ángel Quintana's Vimeo Channel


Reportaje Grafico Nacional (Alvaro Chavarria Nunez, 1950)

"Reportaje Grafico Nacional: Alvaro Chavarria Nunez, who aspires to producing newsreels in his native Costa Rica, presents in this entry a typical effort. The picture is a newsreel of several national events held in this country, and while it displays aggresive camera work, the film result, a dupe print, suffers a great deal because of inferior laboratory work, and therefore the true quality of the photography could not be properly evaluated. Nunez recorded the sound track, using his Auricon film recorder." American Cinematographer, May. 1951, 192.

Watch: Reportaje Grafico Nacional on Vimeo via Centro de Cine


Rincón de paz, Un [A corner of peace] (Miguel Ángel Quintana, 1969)

Documental sobre la Semana Santa en una ciudad de Castilla, donde la paz contrasta con la violencia de otras partes del mundo.

Documentary about the Holy Week in a city of Castilla, where peace contrasts with the violence lived in other parts of the world.

Watch: Via Miguel Ángel Quintana's Vimeo Channel


River: An Allegory (William M. Harlow, 1962)

"This film takes the viewer through the formation and life of a river. From raindrops to rapids, this film shows freshwater and how it moves through our environment," via SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

Watch: River: an Allegory via SUNY ESF


Şafak = L’Aube [Down] (Alp Zeki Heper, 1963)

“İlk film çalışmalarını Paris’te gerçekleştiren Heper, Galatasaray Lisesi’nden mezun olduktan sonra önce hukuk okumak için Cenevre’ye gider lakin mutlu olamaz ve okulu bırakarak Fransa’ya geçip, Paris Yüksek Sinema Enstitüsü’de (Institut des Hautes Etudes Cinématographiques – IDHEC) sinema eğitimi almaya başlar. Bu okuldan ‘En İyi Yönetmen’ ünvanı ile mezun olan yönetmen, bu dönem (1963 yılında) gerçekleştirdiği iki kısa filminden ilki olan ‘Bir Kadın’ ile IDHEC, ikinci kısa filmi Şafak ile de hem IDHEC hem de Avusturya Kültür Bakanlığı En İyi Film ödülünü almıştır.” Burak Çevik, Sinematek.tv: http://sinematek.tv/alp-zeki-heper-ve-iki-kisa-filmi-bir-kadin-safak/ (15 November 2019).

“Graduated from Galatasaray Highschool, Heper first went to Geneva to study law. Because he was unhappy in Geneva, he left the law school and went to Paris to study filmmaking at Institut des Hautes Etudes Cinématographiques (IDHEC). He graduated from IDHEC with the award, “the best director.” The two student short films, Bir Kadın and Şafak, made by Heper when he was at IDHEC, received the best film awards from both IDHEC and the Austrian Ministry of Culture. Burak Çevik, Sinematek.tv: http://sinematek.tv/alp-zeki-heper-ve-iki-kisa-filmi-bir-kadin-safak/ (15 November 2019).

Watch: Via YouTube


San Francisco (Tullio Pellegrini, 1955)

San Francisco "...is a 16mm Filmorama travelogue of San Francisco in 1955 that employs a conventional structure and makes emphatic use of the widescreen equipment. The film’s use of traveling car shots, or updated phantom rides, heightens our sense of being in motion, much like early Cinerama films. This is no rough home movie; it is a very polished travelogue and was shown before an audience of five hundred amateurs at a Bay Area amateur screening the year it was produced" Tepperman, 125.

Watch: via Archive.org


Santa’s Village (Arthur H. Smith , 1964)

"A tour of the California theme park." Center for Home Movies.

Watch: via Archive.org


Scandinavian Summer - Sweden and Norway (Robbins Barstow , 1982)

"In the summer of [1982], Robbins Barstow and his wife Meg, of Wethersfield, Connecticut, USA, went on a two-week tour of scenic Sweden and spectacular Norway. Join them in viewing beautiful sights and fascinating sites, all in dramatic color." Archive.org

Watch: via A/V Geeks (Archive.org)


Sculpture of Ron Boise, The (Leland Auslender, 1968)

"Materials of Ron Boise's art are found in the wrecking yard. Welding, burning, beating on the discarded metal, the artist works from a life model. He seeks not so much to represent the human form as to express it through his "junk" medium. Music is provided by Dr. Fred Katz, Professor of Anthropology at CSUF." Via WorldCat

Watch: Excerpt of the Sculpture of Ron Boise from Leland Auslender


Seattle Here and There (Iwao Matsushita, 1933)

"This rare footage of Seattle and environs in the 1930s was shot by amateur filmmaker Iwao Matsushita. See downtown streets and sidewalks, Lincoln Park, Seward Park, Volunteer Park, a UW football game, rambunctious kitties and other surprises from more than 60 years ago." Seattle Channel.

Watch: via Seattle Channel


Seeing Southern California (Cloyd E. Louis, 1934)

"Footage of various places in Southern California and Mexico." Archive.org

Watch: via California Light and Sound (Archive.org)


Semáforo, El [The Traffic Light] (Miguel Ángel Quintana, 1970)

Filme experimental en el que sobre una imagen fija de un semáforo, el sonido es el principal protagonista.

Experimental film in which sound is the main protagonist over a fix image of a traffic light.

Watch: Via Miguel Ángel Quintana's Vimeo Channel


Separate Vacations (, 1949)

A group of families takes separate vacations – the husbands go fishing, while the wives and children choose to hold a picnic. Both vacationing groups encounter obstacles that disrupt their plans.

Watch: via the G.R.A.M.C. Film Library


Shifting Whispering Sands (O. L. Tapp, 1957)

"O.L. Tapp has coupled opportunity and imagination in putting motion pictures to the recording "Shifting Whispering Sands." Finding the right kind of material to photograph must have entailed a great deal of planning and searching. Every scene is a work of art. As one watches the scenes unfold to the music and song he feels compelled to sit in contemplation of the lonesomeness of the great desert." PSA Journal, Nov. 1957, 33.

Watch: via the University of Utah


Short Spell (Stuart Wynn-Jones, 1957)

"A two minute black and white cartoon built around the animated spelling of short words which are quickly converted into the subject of the spelling. There is an effective sound impulse with the rapidly changing characters. Stewart Wynn-Jones has done a short bit of clever cine-cartooning" PSA Journal, Nov. 1957, 33.

Watch: upload of Short Spell on YouTube

Watch: upload of Short Spell with sound via EAFA


Sightseer, The (Karl Spreitz, 1974)

"A mechanical toy from 1880 walks through a landscape created by Michael Morris" Karl Spreitz and Collaborators Archival Film Collection.

Watch: via Karl Spreitz and Collaborators Archival Film Collection, with remixed sound


Signs of the Times (Arthur H. Smith )

Short film showing shots of various neon signs at nighttime.

Watch: via Archive.org


Skating (Arthur H. Smith , 1964)

"Consists of footage of Blanche Smith rollerskating." Center for Home Movies.

Watch: via Archive.org


Sky-Land Trails of the Kings (David Brower, 1940)

Subtitled: a story of happy days in Kings Canyon National Park.

Watch: via the Sierra Club (Archive.org)


Slow Drying (, 1960)

"A comedic film made by Chicago amateur film club Central Cinematographers about a man who paints himself into a corner." via Chicago Film Archives

Watch: chicagofilmarchives.org


Social Beaver, The (Oscar H. Horovitz, 1956)

"One may assume that Oscar Horovitz is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology because of his interest in this film. It is a film which the school or alumni may use effectively in interesting students in M.I.T. It is a panorama of the student's activities from his entrance to graduation. It commences with an introduction of the school and carries through the class rooms, study halls, social halls, athletics, religious atmosphere, and the memorable day of graduation. To some, this would be a difficult subject to deal with but Oscar has produced a picture which sustains interest throughout" PSA Journal, Nov. 1957, 53.

Watch: From the Vault of MIT


Some Old Time Films (Paul Tilley, 1911)

"This film includes material originally shot by the Tilley brothers in the 1910s and 1920s. W.H. Tilley later edited, compiled, and transferred these clips to 16mm, adding caption from his perspective forty years later. Scenes of note include a Krit Motor Car demonstration (1910s), a circus parade on Congress Avenue (facing the Capital, 1912) in Austin. While the brothers worked commercially in filmmaking, these clips exhibit their practice as amateur filmmakers that captured footage of personal experiences" Texas Archive of the Moving Image.

Watch: via Texas Archive of the Moving Image


Spy Scoop, The (Arthur H. Smith , 1943)

A group of children who film newsreels attempt to track down an escaped Nazi agent in their community.

Watch: via Archive.org


Sredni Vashtar (David Bradley, 1939)

"In a few days of doldrums before being called for training in the Army Signal Corps, David S. Bradley, presiding genius of Bradley Productions, scenarized, cast, costumed, filmed and directed a screen version of Sredni Vashtar, a short story by Saki. running 800 feet of 16mm. monochrome, the picture is the eighth in the series to be produced by this unusual amateur unit of Winnetka, Ill. having been directly preceded by Peer Gynt and Oliver Twist. It will be Mr. Bradley's last production until after the war. Working with him on Sredni Vashtar was John Jameson, assistant director, with the small cast played by Mrs. Herbert Hyde, Lucielle Powell, Lois Northrop and Reny Kidd, all Bradley Production veterans", Movie Makers, Apr. 1943,158.

Watch: Sredni Vashtar on YouTube


Steam Ballet (John Straiton, 1968)

"Those sensual machines, steam tractors, reveal a remarkable ability to perform to music." Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre.

Watch: via YouTube


Stop the Projector, I Want to Get Off (Sid Spurrier, 1966)

"Stop the Projector, I Want To Get Off features James Weatherburn as the bumbling projectionist who is trying to learn how to run one of the fool contraptions. His attempts are not quite all-out comedy, yet his antics are amusing, and anyone who remembers the day he first tried to run one of these complicated machines will be amused at someone else's interpretation of what the sensation is like" PSA Journal, Sept. 1966, 35.

Watch: YouTube video originally from the Library of Congress Prelinger Archives


Streetcar to Heaven (Arthur H. Smith , 1946)

"Filmed by Arthur H. Smith of San Francisco, the story opens with Jackie, a lad of 4 years, playing on the sidewalk near his home. Observing a kitten crossing the street, his natural inclination toward pets impels him to run into the street after it. An unseen car bears down upon the boy and the driver is unable to avoid striking him down. Jackie is rushed to the hospital where his life is saved with difficulty, although he will be permanently crippled. The doctor advises Jackie's parents that although he has survived the operation, the lad has only a short time to live." Home Movies, Dec. 1946, 749.

Watch: via Archive.org


Suetonius Version, The (Stanley Fox, 1953)

"The Suetonius Version is Stan Fox’s last 16mm amateur film. The story is about a university professor who is fascinated with one of his young female students." (Royal BC Museum)

This film was shot on the UBC campus, including in the closed stacks at the UBC Library.

Watch: Excerpt, via Royal BC Museum, YouTube


Sundays in the Valley of Mexico (Ralph E. Gray, 1942)

"A colorful travelogue of modern, urban life in Mexico City. "Shows scenes typical of modern Mexico, such as the tall buildings and wide boulevards of Mexico City. The canal leading to Xochimilco, with its fruit- and flower-laden boats, is pictured. Then describes a festival held in honor of the Vice President of the United States, Henry Wallace, when he visited Mexico City. It includes a bullfight and a parade of Mexican beauties. Ends with a pageant of old and new Mexican dances" (War Films Bulletin of the Extension Division Indiana University, February, 1943, 19)" Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive.

Watch: via Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive


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