Saving Brinton
Ticket Prices
General Public:$8.50
Student w/ID (Box Office Only):$6.00
Film Info
Program:New Releases
Release Year:2017
Runtime:90 min
Director:Tommy Haines
Co-Director:Andrew Sherburne
Producer:Andrew Sherburne
Cinematographer:John Richard
Editor:Tommy Haines
John Richard
Composer:Michael Kramer
Principal Cast:Michael Zahs
Greg Prickman
George Willeman
Kathy Fuller-Seeley
Serge Bromberg
Rick Altman
Harvey Solberger
Filmography:Husker Sand ('14)
Gold Fever ('13)
Pond Hockey ('08)

Special Screenings:

October 19 at 7:00pm and October 20 at 7:15pm screenings followed by a special Brinton Silent Film Package. Filmmakers Tommy Haines and Andrew Sherburne and subject Mike Zahs attending!

In a farmhouse basement on the Iowa countryside, eccentric collector Mike Zahs makes a remarkable discovery: the showreels of the man who brought moving pictures to America’s Heartland.

Among the treasures: rare footage of President Teddy Roosevelt, the first moving images from Burma, a lost relic from magical effects godfather Georges Méliés. These are the films that introduced movies to the world. And they didn’t end up in Iowa by accident.

The old nitrate reels are just some of the artifacts that belonged to William Franklin Brinton. From thousands of trinkets, handwritten journals, receipts, posters and catalogs emerges the story of an inventive farmboy who became America’s greatest barnstorming movieman.

As Mike uncovers this hidden legacy, he begins a journey to restore the Brinton name that takes us to the Library of Congress, Paris and back for a big screen extravaganza in the same small-town movie theater where Frank first turned on a projector over a century ago.

By uniting community through a pride in their living history, Mike embodies a welcome antidote to the breakneck pace of our disposable society. Saving Brinton is a portrait of this unlikely Midwestern folk hero, at once a meditation on living simply and a celebration of dreaming big.


"[S]uperlative... It’s hard to look at the beautifully hand-colored sequences from the Méliès discovery, or watch Zahs’ delight in showing auditoriums full of neighbors a slice of true art transcending time, without feeling hooked yourself." - Colin Covert, Star Tribune


Extraordinary foreign films, must-see American indies, and groundbreaking documentaries from around the world, screening weekly at the Film Society.

Browse New Releases