Sonora, CA…On November 11, David Vassar will be a featured presenter at the ITSA Film Festival in Sonora on November 11, 2016. (http://itsafilmfestival.com/special-presentation-david-vassar-2016/) For the first time in 35 years, his Academy Award-nominated documentary Generation on the Wind will be presented in its entirety in this very special sneak peak not-to-be-missed presentation.
In 1976, the price of oil soared and domestic reserves plummeted resulting in long lines at gas stations. President Carter declared an ‘energy crisis.’ When David Vassar, then only 26-years old, learned about a group of backyard mechanics, artists and environmentalists who were building a windmill to generate electricity on a remote island off the coast of Massachusetts, he sensed a story.
After raising independent financing from his lawyer and landlord, Vassar spent a solid year documenting the construction of the giant wind turbine. It was an engineering story as well as a story of the American Spirit, but most of all it was a story about generating power from a renewable resource.
In 1978, the Cutty Hunk windmill was the largest wind turbine ever constructed for the generation of electricity. It wasn’t built by General Electric or funded by the Department of Energy, it was built by hand with private money from small investors. Although retired from use, the Cutty Hunk windmill provided years of service and more importantly, ‘proof of concept’ for what is now a ubiquitous source of renewable energy.
In 1981, the 58-minute film was cut down to 22-minutes for educational distribution and classroom use. During that process, the original A/B negative was cut and the trims from the 58-minute version were lost. All that remained on the original version was a 16mm color reversal internegative, or CRI; a few 16mm release prints; and the one-inch video tape that was broadcast on PBS.
In 2016, Josef Lindner and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Archive (http://www.oscars.org) completed a painstaking reconstruction and restoration of the 58-minute program, using the original A/B negative and the CRI as a C-roll. The original 35mm magnetic audio tracks were also found and included in the reconstruction.
Immediately after the Generation on the Wind presentation, Vassar will present a sneak-peek of selected scenes from Backcountry Pictures’ current production, Exquisite Wasteland, co-produced with Sally Kaplan, which advocates
for desert protection and features scenes from Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Parks, and the Mojave National Preserve.