The National Film Registry (NFR) is the United States National Film Preservation Board
's (NFPB) selection of film
s which are believed to be deserving of preservation
. The NFPB, established by the National Film Preservation Act
of 1988, was reauthorized by acts of Congress
in 1992, 1996, 2005, and again in October 2008.
The NFPB's mission, to which the NFR contributes, is to ensure the survival, conservation, and increased public availability of America's film heritage. The 1996 law also created the non-profit National Film Preservation Foundation
which, although affiliated with the NFPB, raises money from the private sector
The NFPB adds to the NFR up to 25 "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant films" each year, showcasing the range and diversity of American film heritage
to increase awareness for its preservation.
A film becomes eligible for inclusion ten years after its original release.
For the first selection in 1989, the public nominated almost 1,000 films for consideration. Members of the NFPB then developed individual ballots of possible films for inclusion. The ballots were tabulated into a list of 25 films which was then modified by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington
and his staff at the Library for the final selection.
Since 1997, members of the public have been able to nominate up to 50 films a year for the NFPB and Librarian to consider.
The NFR includes films ranging from Hollywood classics to orphan film
s. A film is not required to be feature-length
, nor is it required to have been theatrically
released in the traditional sense. The Registry contains newsreel
s, silent film
s, student films, experimental film
s, short film
s, music video
s, films out of copyright
protection or in the public domain, film serial
s, home movies
, documentaries, animation, and independent film
s. As of the 2020 listing, there are 800 films in the Registry.
*± Indicates that the film's soundtrack or a significant piece of music featured in the film is also a National Recording Registry
Number of films by release year
This table is through the 2020 induction list (800 films total). For purposes of this list, multi-year serials are counted only once (as they are in the Registry) by year of completion.
Age of Registry selections
The oldest film currently in the registry, ''Newark Athlete
'', was released in 1891, while the most recent, ''Freedom Riders
'', was released in 2010.
Span from release to selection
Released on January 9, 1894 and selected in October 2015, ''Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze
'' has the longest span, at 121 years, while ''Raging Bull
'', released theatrically in the United States on December 19, 1980 and inducted in October 1990, holds the record for the shortest span, having been inducted slightly shy of the 10-year minimum.
Currently, only six other films have been inducted at the 10-year mark: ''Do the Right Thing
'', ''Toy Story
'', ''13 Lakes
'', and ''Freedom Riders
''.'The Dark Knight,' 'A Clockwork Orange' and 'The Joy Luck Club' Enter National Film Registry|Hollywood Reporter
* :Category:United States National Film Registry films
* National Recording Registry
* ''These Amazing Shadows'', a 2011 documentary film that tells the history and importance of the registry
National Film Registry homepage
Classic Movie Hub: National Film Registry List
''These Amazing Shadows''
site for Independent Lens on PBS
Category:1988 establishments in the United States
Category:1988 in American cinema
Category:Cultural infrastructure completed in 1988
Category:Cinema of the United States
Category:Film archives in the United States
Category:History of film
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