CFP: “Government Film,” Special Issue The Moving Image

Call for Special Issue 24.1
“Government Film”

Guest editor: Brian Real

Submissions Due: May 31, 2023

The Moving Image, the peer reviewed academic journal of the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA), invites submissions for possible inclusion in a special issue on Government Film. Full submissions are due by May 31, 2023, but contributors are encouraged to contact the special issue editor, Brian Real, in advance to discuss potential contributions and receive preliminary feedback.

  • Discussions of motion pictures produced by national, regional, state, and local governments, with a specific focus on how these works served policy objectives.
    This can include analyses of the output of particular directors or agencies.
  • Research on audience reception to government-made films and the effectiveness of their messaging.
  • Analyses of less-formal works made by government employees and their families, such as home movies.
  • Interviews with filmmakers, producers, and government officials who were involved in the creation of motion pictures for governments.
  • Overviews and comparisons of institutions that collect and preserve motion pictures made by governments, with a specific focus on how they preserve and provide access to these works.
  • Short pieces on specialized government film collections, paper-based collections of documents related to government-made films, and the acquisition and restoration of individual works.
  • Reviews of books, conferences, festivals, and media related to government-made films.

Types of Submissions:

  • Features: Double-blind peer reviewed research articles, 4,000 – 6,000 words
  • Forum pieces: Shorter, less formal pieces that include interviews and “notes from the field” that involve discussions of single institutions or archivists’ own work, such as specific restoration projects
  • Collections: Discussions of collections held by moving image archives, including their provenance
  • Reviews: Analyses of recent books, media (e.g., DVDs, Blu-Rays), conferences, film festivals, and exhibitions

Although the reviews section of the issue will remain open to all books, conferences, and discs related to film history and media preservation, the guest editor is particularly interested in reviews of works related to government produced motion pictures or review articles covering several relevant works.

Inquiries and submissions:

Please send initial proposals and final submissions to special issue editor Brian Real at and CC journal editor Devin Orgeron at

All manuscripts should be submitted as a Microsoft Word e-mail attachment, double-spaced throughout, using 12-point type with 1-inch margins, following the 17th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style.

Please note if your piece should be considered for the Features, Forum, Collections, or Reviews sections. If you have an idea for a submission but are not sure as to which section would be the best for your work, the guest editor would be glad to discuss this during the planning stages.

CFP: The Moving Image

Special issue of The Moving Image journal (vol. 21, issue 1, Spring 2021)

Activating the Archive: Audio-Visual Collections as Communal Resources for Engagement and Change

Guest editors: Eef Masson and Giovanna Fossati

Access to audio-visual collections, while a longtime archival concern, gained momentum as a topic of debate in the first decade of this century. As tools for digitization gradually became available to (institutional) archives, practices of online video-sharing quickly shifted user expectations. Initially, practitioners reacted by highlighting not only the opportunities, but also the threats digital access posed. More recently, archival organizations have come to view such access as a core responsibility as well as a financial necessity – even as it continues to present legal, technological and ethical issues. In addition, they are more acutely aware that ensuring access is a complex task, because it not only involves making resources available, but also mediating them, so that they can acquire relevance for contemporary users. In recent years, this has resulted in a wide range of distribution, curation, and presentation practices, both on- and off-line.

Over time, those practices have called into question the choices that are made as items and collections get selected and framed. Concern has been expressed over who gets to make decisions, whose interests those decisions serve, and which biases they entail (e.g. who gets represented or excluded, and from whose perspective). Such questions in turn fueled broader debates about the
politics of archiving, centering among others on questions about agency (the role of archives as gatekeepers and the place of various archival ‘stakeholders’) and institutional legitimacy. Consequently, calls have been made for more participatory forms of archiving and the involvement of communities (especially underrepresented ones) in practices of collecting, preserving and making accessible or presenting moving images and sound. In addition, proposals have been made for ‘against the grain’, counter- and an-archival projects, among others with activist intent. Aside from challenging dominant archival paradigms, those offer opportunities for a more inclusive debate about access to audiovisual ‘heritage’, counterbalancing dominant, Western perspectives.

Tying in with such developments, this special issue of The Moving Image focuses on how audio-visual collections – established or emerging, institutional or more informal – are being activated, or re-activated: that is, made to engage new, contemporary audiences. The editors above all invite contributions that consider how, in the process of re-/activation, collections are turned into trulycommunal resources, and mobilized for the common good – whether by people who directly contribute to the activities of archival organisations or initiatives, or who operate from their peripheries. Of special interest here are projects that involve the reinterpretation, or re-appropriation, of archival moving images and sound in order to stimulate interest in, or engagement with, particular social and political causes.

As always, the journal will feature a combination of longer, analytical and/or critical pieces (peer-reviewed) and a number of forum essays that engage with relevant cases in a more informal manner. Also reviews of recent publications and events on related topics are welcome.

Possible contribution topics include (but are not limited to): ● (archival) moving images as a resource for citizen engagement and advocacy

  • archives, museums and distribution/presentation platforms (e.g. festivals, video-sharing
    websites, etc.) as facilitators of engagement
  • community involvement in archival access and presentation, and ways of fostering it
  • activist approaches to the curation and presentation of archival moving images and sound
  • archival ‘activation’ in non-institutional and informal archives, and what formal archives can
    learn from them
  • re-readings and reinterpretations of archival objects or collections, and their (contemporary)
    political or civic potential
  • agency and resistance in or through (re)use of archival audio-visual collections
  • archival access and presentation as means for (re)building collections and/or re-historicising the past
  • the ethical (e.g. privacy) and legal (e.g. rights management) implications of reusing audio-visual records for socio-political purpose

Please send one-paragraph proposals for feature articles (double blind peer reviewed, between 4000
and 6000 words) and shorter, more informal forum pieces to and
by 31 December 2019. Complete drafts will be due in mid-April 2020. The issue is to appear in the
Spring of 2021.

Visit here for more information about the journal. For access to previous special issues, check out the publisher’s archive.

Recent Issue: The Moving Image: The Journal of the Association of Moving Image Archivists

The Moving Image: The Journal of the Association of Moving Image Archivists, Vol. 16, No. 2, Fall 2016

Front Matter

Editors’ Foreword
Donald Crafton and Susan Ohmer


3mm: The Smallest Gauge
Marsha Gordon and Dino Everett

The Beginnings and the Ends of Film: Leader Standardization in the United States and Canada (1930–1999)
Matthew Soar

Action, Avatar, Ecology, and Empire: Databases, Digitality, Death, and Gaming in Werner Herzog’s Arctic
Scott MacKenzie, Anna Westerståhl Stenport and Garrett Traylor

Digital Super 8mm: Evaluating the Contribution of Digital Technologies to Film Archives in Latin America
Beatriz Tadeo Fuica and Julieta Keldjian


The “Much Vexed Problem” of Nontheatrical Distribution in the Late 1910s
Richard Abel