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Profile: Hugh Munro Neely, Director

Mr. Neely is a preservationist, historian, author, musician and documentary film producer/director. He has been working on film preservation issues for over 20 years. He developed the International Archive Nitrate Triage (IANT) project in order to assist America’s film archives in the search for motion pictures of all types that through the years have been discarded, decomposed, or are otherwise missing from our archives and libraries.

 

Through the IANT project, more than 50 films previously thought lost, including features, shorts and serials, both silent and sound, have been located overseas. Hugh has been personally involved in projects that resulted in the restoration of Good References (1920) with Constance Talmadge, Her Wild Oat (1927) with Colleen Moore, Hulda from Holland (1916) and Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall (1926) with Mary Pickford, Ramona (1928) with Dolores del Rio, the coming restoration of Soft Shoes (1925) with Harry Carey, and several more.

 

In 2010 Hugh was invited to present his research paper A Studio of Her Own: Women Film Producers at First National, 1917-1927 at the “Women and the Silent Screen VI” conference in Bologna, Italy. He has annually given talks and screenings of the various silent film versions of Ramona (1910,1916,1928) at Rancho Camulos Museum in Ventura County, California, and has frequently spoken on film history and preservation to other organizations and historical societies.

 

The feature documentary The Woman with the Hungry Eyes, directed by Hugh and produced by Andi Hicks, received premieres at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Through the years Hugh has written, produced or directed biographical documentaries for television and home video on Theda Bara, Clara Bow, Louise Brooks, Marion Davies, Mary Pickford and others.

 

As a musician he has commissioned film scores from a variety of composers and has conducted live concerts with silent film presentations in California, Colorado, Washington, Michigan, Washington D.C. and Pordenone, Italy. His recordings of scores by Philip Carli, Bonnie Janofsky, Maria Newman and Jeffrey Silverman have been released on DVD and Blu-ray by Milestone Films and Warner Archive.

 

Mr. Neely is a member of the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA). He and his wife Francie live near Los Angeles, California.