University of Rochester

France Awards Knighthood to College Faculty Member

July 10, 2002

Paolo Cherchi Usai, an adjunct professor in the Department of English who teaches courses in the Film and Media Studies Program, has been knighted by the French government for his contributions to film preservation, museum development, and film culture.

An internationally recognized film scholar, Cherchi Usai is the senior curator of motion pictures of George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film. He teaches courses in film history, technology and historiography, film analysis, and European cinema in the College. His many publications include Burning Passions: An Introduction to the Study of Silent Cinema; Silent Cinema: An Introduction; and The Death of Cinema: History, Cultural Memory and the Digital Dark Age. He is the general editor for a multi-volume series on the films of D. W. Griffith titled The Griffith Project.

Cherchi Usai is the co-founder of the Pordenone Silent Film Festival in Italy, the leading international event dedicated to the rediscovery of silent cinema, and director of the L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation. He is on the executive committee of the International Federation of Film Archives and a recipient of the Jean Vigo Award.

The title of Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres will be officially bestowed on Cherchi Usai during a ceremony in New York City this fall.