President John F. Kennedy seen in a still image from the documentary Crisis
President John F. Kennedy seen in a still image from the documentary Crisis

Every year, the Librarian of Congress (yes, this is a real government job title) selects 25 “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” films to be added to the National Film Registry. The Registry was created in 1989 as part of the National Film Preservation Act, which sought to save significant American films.

In addition to Disney’s Bambi, Forrest Gump and Pixar pioneer Edwin Catmull’s early CGI work A Computer Animated Hand, the 2011 selection included documentaries, such as Robert Drew’s cinéma vérité landmark Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment.

Do you disagree with the selections so far? Do something about it! Starting this week, the Library of Congress is asking viewers like you to nominate films for the 2012 National Film Registry (they’ve even provided a huge list of films that aren’t in the registry).

We’re not saying you should necessarily nominate POV documentaries or films by alums (Michael Moore, Frederick Wiseman, the Maysles Brothers, and we could go on…), but if you feel so inclined, keep in mind that nominees must be at least 10 years old. The most recently produced documentary inducted into the National Film Registry was 1994’s Hoop Dreams (2005), Steve James’ acclaimed film about two high school basketball players in Chicago aiming for the NBA.

You can send up to 50 suggestions for preservation by emailing Check out for more information about the nomination process and the Film Registry.

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Paul Buser is a Winter 2012 intern with POV Digital.