Do you know this man? The folks at Lost Films hope that you do and that you can identify the name of the film from which the still was taken. Archivists know it's a German film, and they believe it was made in the 1930s. And they're asking for anyone with more information to help.
It's estimated that between 80 to 90% of all silent films, as well as a significant number of sound films, have been lost. Films from the early years of movies weren't seen as culturally important, and there were minimal preservation efforts. Censorship efforts led to the destruction of many. And then, with the conversion to sound, many silent films were seen as outmoded and the reels were trashed.
But this new project seeks to help identify and recover some of these films by using an online, crowdsourced platform where users can upload, tag, and comment on old stills and videos. The aptly named Lost Films contains a list of more than 3500 films it believes have been lost, and it's asking users to help provide more information.
The project is funded by the German Federal Cultural Association and is a collaborative effort by film societies in several countries, including Germany, France, Poland, and New Zealand.
Anyone can join the site and can help identify the films they have in the archive or can upload clips and images from other "mystery" films as well.