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‘Saving Brinton’ Trailer: AFI Documentary Uncovers Century-Old Showreels of One of America’s First Motion Picture Impresarios — Watch

"I'm not sure if we can wow people anymore, but I'd sure like to try," said history teacher Mike Zahs.

Barn Owl Pictures

“Saving Brinton”

Saving Brinton / Barn Owl Pictures

Saving Brinton” will premiere at this year’s AFI DOCS Film Festival, taking place from June 14 – 18. Set in rural Iowa, the film follows history teacher Mike Zahs as he uncovers the century-old showreels of Frank Brinton, one of America’s first motion picture impresarios, and sets out to premiere the films at a historic local opera house. Zahs’ findings include rare footage of President Teddy Roosevelt, the first moving images from Burma, and a lost relic from magical effects godfather Georges Méliés.

Check out our exclusive trailer for the film below.

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The film hails from Barn Owl Pictures, and it’s helmed by “Gold Fever” and “Husker Sand” co-directors Tommy Haines and Andrew Sherburne, with cinematography by John Richard.

“As Midwestern filmmakers, we’re excited to show what’s buried beneath that blanket of corn seen from a passing plane. The Heartland is alive and Mike Zahs is its champion,” the filmmakers said in a statement.

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In 2014, Zahs gifted the entire Brinton Collection to the University of Iowa Libraries, Special Collections where it will be catalogued, preserved and available for scholarly research.

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