University of Rochester

College Faculty Member Honored for Film Preservation

February 23, 2004

International honors are being bestowed upon Paolo Cherchi Usai, an adjunct professor in the Department of English who teaches courses in the Film and Media Studies Program, for his efforts in the preservation of motion pictures. Cherchi Usai is being knighted by France’s Minister of Culture today, Monday, Feb. 23, at the French Embassy in New York City.

Cherchi Usai, the senior curator of motion pictures at the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, has been awarded the title of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for his outstanding contribution to film preservation, museum development, and film culture.

In addition, Cherchi Usai has been named the recipient of the Mel Novikoff Award from the San Francisco Film Society for “exceptional contributions furthering the study and preservation of motion pictures.” The award will be presented during the San Francisco International Film Festival, April 15 to 29. He also was recently named vice president of the International Federation of Film Archives.

Cherchi Usai first came to the Eastman House in 1989 and has served in the role of senior curator of motion pictures since 1996. In the College, he teaches courses in film history, technology and historiography, film analysis, and European cinema. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Pordenone Silent Film Festival in Italy, which he co-founded in 1982, and has written and edited several books including The Griffith Project and The Death of Cinema.