Saving Brinton

  • Dear Erik Dear Erik


Sequoia 1 Sun, May 6, 2018 1:00 PM
Film Info
Running Time:87 min.
Director:Tommy Haines
Andrew Sherburne
John Richard
Producer:Andrew Sherburne
Cinematographer:John Richard
Editor:Tommy Haines
Cast:Michael Zahs
Print Source:Bocce Balls Films
Northland Films
Note Writer:Kelly Clement


Michael Zahs, an eccentric collector and the self-appointed local historian of a small town in Iowa, leads a quiet, meditative life. But one day he stumbles upon something that will end up consuming him for more than 32 years. In a farmhouse basement he discovers a cache of old dusty film reels and various other movie memorabilia. Within this treasure trove is fascinating rare footage of Teddy Roosevelt, some of the first known moving images from Asia, and, most remarkably, a collection of magical films from cinematic pioneer Georges Méliès. As he digs deeper, he soon begins to uncover the legacy of William Brinton, the driven midwest entrepreneur who brought the first moving pictures to America’s heartland in the late 1800s. In this heartwarming film, Zahs encounters many surprises in his journey to share this historical discovery and makes it his mission to restore Brinton’s name in cinematic history.

IN PERSON: Filmmaker John Richard, Film Subject Michael Zahs

Thank you to our community partner San Francisco Silent Film Festival.

Preceded by DEAR ERIK US 2017, 9 min, Director Bryan Wetzel
IN PERSON: Director Bryan Wetzel

Included Shorts

Dear Erik (9min) More

Additional Information

Tommy Haines and Andrew Sherburne (directors) are documentary filmmakers based in Iowa and the founders of Northland Films. Their debut nonfiction feature, Pond Hockey, an ode to outdoor ice hockey, has been called “the best hockey movie ever” by ESPN, and was broadcast across North America on PBS. Gold Fever won the 2013 International Federation for Human Rights Film Award and has screened in 35 countries worldwide. Sherburne is the co-founder of FilmScene, a nonprofit cinema in Iowa City, Iowa, where Haines serves on the Board of Directors. The tandem have served on festival juries and currently curate the well-regarded Vino Vérité screening series.