Events & News


California Revealed logo

We are honored and excited to announce that in November 2023 we were awarded a Digitization and Preservation grant from California Revealed! This digitization project is supported by California Revealed and administered in California by the State Librarian. The program is made possible by funding from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act. We will post all the videos as they roll in!

Holiday and Modernism Week events coming up…

December 13th

JOIN us December 13, 6pm, at Palm Springs Public Library for a fun TV-related screening we’ve curated called “A (Not Just) Christmas TV Time Machine”! Free!

“Deserted Films has been rummaging around the PSPL stacks looking for goodies — just in time for Christmas! A spectacular and nostalgic collection of highlights from television’s best (and strangest) holiday specials from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s complete with holiday-themed commercials from the era. Memorable musical performances…tearful and cheerful Christmas “lessons”… CLAYMATION! Your favorite shows all in one handy and thoughtfully contextualized package. Lovingly curated and presented by Deserted Films.”

December 20th

December 20th, the Palm Springs Cultural Center is once again hosting our holiday screening of festive home movies from our collection as well as shorts, commercials, and more. Tickets for “Holiday Oddities 2” here.

February 21st

And come on out Palm Springs Plays Itself: A Vintage Home Movie Cocktail Hour with Deserted Films on February 21, 3:30-4:30pm at CAMP during Modernism Week!

“Palm Springs as it is seldom seen! Home movies shot by locals and visitors during the golden age of amateur filmmaking! See legendary hotels, homes, clubs, people, shops, and restaurants captured on archival film!

Local home movie film archive, Deserted Films, will screen and provide entertaining context for a curated selection of amateur 16mm, 8mm and Super 8 films (some shown on actual, vintage mechanical equipment!), and enlighten the audience on the work of their unique nonprofit organization. 
Deserted Films.”


On Thursday, November 16, 2023, during the Association of Moving Image Archivists’ annual conference in Tulsa, OK, one of our home movies was included in a Archival Screening Night montage curated by the Center for Home Movies in honor of Home Movie Day’s 20th anniversary!

On July 27, Melissa of Deserted Films presented on the David Root home movies at the Northeast Historic Film Summer Symposium (an event programmed by Devin!)

During summer, Deserted Films curated a “Summer Heat” film series for the Camelot Theatre at the Palm Springs Cultural Center that ran from July 2 (our official birthday!) through September 17, 2023. Before each screening we showed home movies from our collection!

On April 11, 2023, 7pm, Deserted Films returned to the Palm Springs Cultural Center for another screening of fun educational/sponsored shorts and home movies. Come on out for “From the Archives: Art, Design, and the Look of Optimism”! All proceeds we earn from these shows go to digitizing films.

On February 25, 2023, we collaborated again with Modernism Week and the Palm Springs Public Library for Home Movie Day, a grassroots, worldwide effort to educate the public about home movies that invites the public to bring their films where we inspect, repair, and screen them.

2023 Home Movie Day Palm Springs Trailer

On February 22, 2023, Melissa and Devin, as Deserted Films, gave a talk at the Palm Springs Public Library called “Thanks for the Memories-The Importance of Home Movies.”


On December 20, 2022 at the Palm Springs Cultural Center, we hosted a “Holiday Oddities” program of ephemeral films from our collection and films we borrowed from archivist friends.

2022 “Holiday Oddities!” Trailer

During the Association of Moving Image Archivists’ annual conference (December 6-9, 2022 in Pittsburgh) one of our home movies was included in the Archival Screening Night show!

This (Fall 2022) term, Master of Library and Information Science students at UCLA (Janet Ceja’s “IS289-3 “Special Issues in Information Studies: Motion Picture Film Preservation” course) learned all about film preservation using home movies from our collection we had yet to view. Here’s a bit about their efforts. In teams, the students digitized ten of our films using a 4K Kinetta scanner in the university’s Media Preservation Lab. Their contributions can be found on the “A Longer Drive,” “A Flight Away,” and “Holidays, Special Events, Parties, & Weird Stuff” pages. Notes for each film are in part derived from the descriptions they provided as part of their class projects. We wish to thank Felicity Flesher, Jeremy Hendrickson, Michaela Telfer, Christina Scholze, Daniella D’acquisto, Kylie Marie Harris, Marisa Rae Pimentel, Eunice Hong, Karl Theopold, Emily Gudmundson, Grace Lauren, Sidney Garcia, Tatiana Hernandez, Dr. Janet Ceja, Dr. Shawn VanCour, and Chloe Reyes in the Lab for their hard work and coordination. You can also watch team “Splice Girls’” final project video here (we have their permission to link out to it.)


We also participated in our first international screening as Deserted Films in an event called “Christmas Home Movie Day” in 2021 which was organized by Italian archive, Superottimisti. Superottimisti screened our home movies among others on Christmas Day at the Museo Nazionale del Cinema di Torino and near the Venaria Reale Palace in Torino, Italy, as well as online.

We received our first film donation back in summer 2021! Some of the films we lent the UCLA students (see above) to study and digitize came from donor Beth Campbell, daughter of the filmmaker. She mentioned in an email to us, passed along to the students: “My dad’s name was Donald Ramsay Lawson, but was always known as Ramsay. He attended Redlands University and then Stanford for his MBA. His big joke was that he never would have gotten into Stanford if it wasn’t for the war (WWII), because his grades weren’t great. He was rejected from serving because he was a diabetic. So a professor at Redlands recommended he apply to Stanford and was accepted because they needed men! He was a CPA in Pasadena, with a firm that his father started, Lawson and Co, which later became Guill, Blankenbaker and Lawson. I think it closed in the 1980’s. He was an amateur photographer, a hobbyist.” To watch Lawson’s films, see # 343 and #344 on “A Longer Drive.”