A recent letter to the editor ["Put UCLA Films on DVD," Feb. 3] suggested that the UCLA Film & Television Archive's film collection be made available on DVD. The archive has released quite a number of films on DVD, often through third-party distributors. For example, Charles Burnett's "Killer of Sheep" was on virtually every critic's "Best of 2007" list; that film was restored by UCLA and is available on DVD through Milestone. All three box sets of "Treasures From the Film Archives," released by the National Film Preservation Board, include major contributions from the UCLA Film & Television Archive.
UCLA has been safekeeping, preserving and restoring films for decades, but in the digital age we need to do a better job of making our material accessible to the general public. However, there are challenges. First, there is the issue of copyright. We can release films only where we own the copyright or come to an agreement with the copyright owner. Secondly, there are financial issues, since digitization is an extremely expensive proposition, especially for a nonprofit.