Augusta film receives national honor

What started as a modest movie experiment, shot by an enthusiastic Augusta amateur in the first half of the 20th century, will now be preserved for perpetuity.

The Augustas, a 16-minute silent film, is one of 25 films chosen by the Library of Congress for the 2012 National Film Registry. The registry, established in 1989, annually selects 25 films deemed worthy of preservation based on artistic, cultural or historical merit. Any film selected must be at least 10 years old.

Scott Nixon was a traveling salesman based in Augusta who was a member of the Amateur Cinema League and regularly documented his travels as short 8 mm and 16 mm movies. The Augustas is an assemblage of 38 streets, storefronts and cities linked by name. They were all called “Augusta.”

Selected for its unvarnished vision of America at a very specific time, the film’s time-capsule merits earned it a spot on this year’s list.

Included on the 2012 list include the 1914 version of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the classic Western 3:10 to Yuma and They Call It Pro Football, widely recognized as the template for the NFL Films series.

This year’s selections bring the registry’s list up to 600 titles.

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