An unexpected type of film set a new course of activity in Kirsten Larvick's life after she inherited several 8mm home movies filmed by her grandfather, Al Larvick, a North Dakota native.
Al Larvick, born in Temvik, filmed home movies into the 1980s, ranging from family events to athletic activities and hometown happenings. He is the inspiration for the newly launched Al Larvick Conservation Fund to promote the preservation of amateur and home movies.
"I discovered so much from getting the films transferred," Kirsten Larvick said. "I fell in love. I just learned so much about my grandfather and my father."
After sharing the videos with her family and at her mother's high school reunion at Valley City High School, where her grandfather was also the athletic director, she discovered a desire for saving these films.
"I've developed a passion for not only my home movies, but for other people's home movies," Larvick said. "There are interesting aspects to them. They're nostalgic and beautiful."
The Al Larvick Conservation Fund will be holding its first set of events between Sept. 2-4 in Bismarck, Valley City and West Fargo.
Each event will include a screening of clips from the State Historical Society of North Dakota's collection of donated videos as well as clips from Al Larvick's home movies, including interviews with some of the people in his videos.
"I want to show a variety of home movies to show the different types," said Shane Molander, deputy state archivist of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.
The screening includes traditional home-movie scenes, including parades and birthdays, as well as nontraditional and historic videos of agricultural scenes to the burning of the state Capitol building.
Each kind of movie has a different value, ranging from sentimental and genealogical to historic, according to Molander.
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"It shows how people lived and what they did in the past, but people tend to forget about them," Molander said. "Some day, they're just going to be gone and not salvageable."
For Larvick and the Conservation Fund, the focus isn't necessarily focused on historic value as much as family value.
"They're recording what's important to them," she said. "It's a unique perspective. It might seem mundane, but they represent a family legacy or how a community can change over time."
To promote preservation at the events, there will be a workshop led by Rhonda Vigeant, a home-movie preservationist, who will offer instructions on home care and the professional transfer process.
The Conservation Fund is launching its first grant this year, the Al Larvick North Dakota Grant, which will provide funds for a grantee to digitally transfer home videos.
The transfer will be done by Pro8mm or Home Movie Legacy in Burbank, Calif., but the Al Larvick Conservation Fund is willing to consider transfer services in North Dakota and are looking for partners within the state.
A North Dakota Committee, made up of residents, will make its grant recommendations to the Conservation Fund's board of directors, who will make the final decision.
"The fund feels it's important that North Dakotans have a voice in what home movies get awarded an Al Larvick North Dakota Grant," Larvick said.
A national grant is scheduled to launch in 2016, she said.