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College of Arts & Sciences
Film and Media Studies Program


Orphan Film Symposium

The biennial Orphan Film Symposium brings together scholars, filmmakers, archivists, curators, and preservationists to screen neglected media artifacts and to discuss their significance.

The Orphan Film Symposium began at the University of South Carolina in 1999 and had as its foundational goal to bring greater visibility to the University’s moving image archive. Since 2006 the symposium has been hosted at NYU and will make its international debut in Amsterdam, March 20-April 2, 2014.

Both Film and Media Studies faculty and USC MIRC archivists remain involved in symposium planning and research.  Our program is also the home of the Helen Hill award, given to independent media artists at each symposium in honor of the late South Carolina-born filmmaker, educator, and activist.

Our students' involvement in the Orphan Film Symposium has led Film and Media Studies majors to pursue careers and advanced studies in library science, moving image archiving and preservation, media production, and graduate-level film and media studies.

The most recent symposium, Orphans 8: Made to Persuade, included presentations by Film and Media Studies faculty and MIRC archivists, as well as screenings of work by animation students in Media Arts.