Home Movie Day

Every year on Home Movie Day, amateur films are screened at over fifty venues around the world, including the Oakland Museum of California.

Home Movie Day 2011 at OMCA included two components. First, home movies were submitted by the public, inspected by film archivists, and screened in the Museum's state-of-the-art James Moore Theater. As the films played, their owners narrated the action—a sampling of which included a 1940 Egyptian wedding (the family later immigrated to Berkeley), an outing of young ladies in Yosemite in the 1930s, and a child's princess-themed birthday party in Buenos Aires in 1952, complete with a marionette performance.

The second part of the program presented home movie treasures from the collection of the African American Museum and Library at Oakland (AAMLO). Shot in Berkeley and Oakland by Ernest Beane, the films depict Beane's friends, neighbors, and colleagues at the Pullman Palace Car Company.

The footage is a rare glimpse into the daily pleasures of an upwardly mobile African American family in the 1930s and '40s. Nothing escapes Beane's camera, from backyard barbecues to joking co-workers at the train station, all dressed in the dapper styles of the time–seamed stockings, fedoras, and spit-polish shoes.

Renowned jazz musician Marcus Shelby created an original score to accompany Beane's films, performed live during the screening by the Marcus Shelby Quintet. The program was introduced by AAMLO Chief Curator Rick Moss and followed by a Q&A.

We made this trailer to promote the event: 


Home Movie Day at OMCA was organized for the Oakland Standard by Pamela Jean Vadakan and made possible by the many people who submitted their films for screening. Special thanks to Rick Prelinger of the Internet Archive, who generously digitized the Beane footage, and to volunteer film archivists Stefano Boni, Adrienne Cardwell, Megan Clement, Jon Shibata, and Lauren Sorensen. Click here to see a full schedule of the event.

For more information on International Home Movie Day, visit homemovieday.com.

For home movie conservation tips, consult the Home Film Preservation Guide.