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Thursday, January 26, 2006
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Local filmmaker's work included in National Film Registry

ATHENS, Ohio (Jan. 20, 2006) -- A film about the 1972 Buffalo Creek flood, in which 125 West Virginians were killed and thousands more left homeless, has been selected for inclusion in the National Film Registry, the film's producers announced Wednesday.

"The Buffalo Creek Flood: An Act of Man," is one of 25 motion pictures selected by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington to be added to the registry.

The annual selection of films that are considered culturally, historically or aesthetically significant is a term of the National Film Preservation Act.

The 1975 Buffalo Creek film was directed by Mimi Pickering and produced by Appalshop, a media arts center in Whitesburg, Ky. Local writer and filmmaker Jack Wright did the script, narration, and music. Wright teaches personal documentary at the Ohio University School of Film.

The Library of Congress described the film as a "powerful documentary" that "represents the finest in regional filmmaking, providing important understanding of the environmental and cultural history of the Appalachian region."

On Feb. 26, 1972, a Pittston Company coal-waste dam collapsed, sending a wall of sludge, debris and water through 16 communities in the Logan County valley. The documentary chronicles the impact of the disaster through interviews with survivors, representatives of union and citizens' groups and officials with the coal company.

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced his annual selection of 25 motion pictures to be added to the National Film Registry on Dec. 20. Also, among the latest selections were "The Sting" (1973), "The French Connection" (1971) and "Raisin in the Sun" (1961).

Under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act, each year the Librarian of Congress names 25 "culturally, historically, or aesthetically" significant motion pictures to the Registry. The list is designed to reflect the full breadth and diversity of America's film heritage, thus increasing public awareness of the richness of the American cinema and the need for its preservation. The list was created in 1989, and the latest round brings the total number of films placed on the list since the Registry was created in 1989 to 425.

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Media Contact: Media Specialist George Mauzy, (740) 597-1794 or mauzy@ohio.edu

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