Re: [Videolib] Film search: La Fiesta de Todos

James Steffen (
Mon, 09 Apr 2007 17:55:40 -0400

Actually, Jessica Rosner has a point here. I think it's important to
make clear to researchers up front that once you've exhausted your
usual sources (WorldCat, online DVD vendors, etc.) obtaining foreign
films is a lot more difficult than getting foreign-language print
materials. That way both you and the researcher can make an informed
decision at the very start about how much time you can devote to
tracking down an individual film.

This problem is inherent to doing film research because of the high
cost and fragile nature of the medium, and the complexity of
ownership/distribution issues. Even with all the great DVDs available
from overseas these days, often the only way to see many films is to
visit an archive abroad. That is, if they actually *have* a print at
the archive and if it's accessible for study. (I could tell you my own
stories about this.) Even if you go through the trouble to hunt down
the filmmaker, he or she may not have a copy of the film to show you.
Sadly, in many cases there is simply no way to see a particular film.

James Steffen

Quoting Jessica Rosner <>:

> As usual my rule of thumb when professors ask for very obscure foreign films
> is to make them confirm that
> The film was distributed in the US ( festivals & museums donšt count) OR
> they have direct info that the film can be bought
> Overseas ( with titles) . Otherwise it is a waste of time. Of course even if
> the film WAS distributed in the US that is no guarantee you can get it on
> Or DVD but it does give you a place to start

James M. Steffen
Film Studies and Media Librarian
Theater Studies Subject Liaison
Marian K. Heilbrun Music and Media Library
Emory University
540 Asbury Circle
Atlanta, GA 30322-2870

Phone: (404) 727-8107 FAX: (404) 727-2257 Email:

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