The National Film Registry is the registry of films selected by the United States National Film Preservation Board for preservation in the Library of Congress. The board, established by the National Film Preservation Act of 1988, was reauthorized in 1992, 1996, and 2005 by acts of Congress. The 1996 law also created the non-profit National Film Preservation Foundation, which is affiliated with the National Film Preservation Board but which raises money from the private sector.
The National Film Registry is meant to preserve up to 25 "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant films" each year; to be eligible, films must be at least 10 years old. The films do not have to be feature-length or to have had a theatrical release. The Registry is meant to showcase the full range and diversity of American film heritage, and includes films ranging from Hollywood classics to newsreels, silent films, experimental films, films out of copyright protection, significant amateur footage, documentary film, and independent films. As of 2006, there were 450 films preserved in the National Film Registry.
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