E-mail us: amdb@ucalgary.ca

The Amateur Movie Database was developed to learn more about the world of amateur cinema. It assembles information about amateur films, filmmakers and clubs to help:

  • Researchers find out more about amateur movies
  • Archivists to identify and contextualize amateur films
  • All interested parties to learn more about this alternative world of filmmaking

Films included in the database are winners of amateur movie contests or works that have been identified as significant by archives and historians.

Phase 1: Major North American amateur movie contests

Phase 2: Amateur films recognized as significant by archives and historians

  • National Film Preservation Foundation grants for preserving amateur films
  • National Film Registry
  • Northeast Historic Film list of titled amateur works
  • Chicago Film Archives list of titled amateur works
  • Little Movie Parties, annual screening of amateur films in New York City, 1929-1940
  • Canadian Film Awards, Amateur Category, ca. 1951-1971
  • BC (British Columbia) Archives list of amateur works
  • Texas Archive of the Moving Image list of amateur works
  • Human Studies Film Archive (Smithsonian Institution) list of amateur works
  • UCLA Film & Television Archive list of amateur works
  • Library and Archives Canada
  • Grand Rapids Amateur Film Library
  • Center for Home Movies
  • Yale Film Archives

The database draws on materials from a variety of digitized, print, and archival sources, especially the Media History Digital Library and the Internet Archive.

The database is structured according to PBCore metadata standards.

Call for contributors: if you have information about a film in the database or would like to contribute to the project contact us at amdb@ucalgary.ca

Research team

Project Director:

Charles Tepperman
Department of Communication, Media and Film, University of Calgary


Karan Sheldon, Northeast Historic Film
Dan Streible, New York University
Dwight Swanson, Centre for Home Movies
Nancy Watrous, Chicago Film Archives
Clara Sanchez-Dehesa, Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola
Enrique Fibla Gutiérrez, Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola
Martin L. Johnson, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill


Dennis J. Duffy, BC Archives, Royal BC Museum [retired]

Molly Rose Steed, University of Utah J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collections

Database and web design:

Jack Brighton

Research and database construction:

Sheena Manabat, MA student, Communication and Media Studies, University of Calgary
Andrew Watts, BA student, Film Studies, University of Calgary
Lucas Anderson, BA student, Film Studies, University of Calgary
Berenice Cancino, MA student, Languages, Literatures and Culture, University of Calgary
Isabel Lara, PhD student, Spanish, University of Calgary
M. Mert Orsler, MA student, Communication and Media Studies, University of Calgary

We acknowledge the assistance of:

Jason Reid (Arts IT); John Brosz (Data Visualization lab)

Sponsored by:

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

With additional support from:

University of Calgary Faculty of Arts, Calgary Institute for the Humanities, Chicago Film Archives, Northeast Historic Film

Project partners: