Gary Essert and with the assistance of George Cukor, launched the first Los Angeles International Film Exposition (Filmex)
in Hollywood, CA (1971). The collection consists of documents and photographs relating to films shown at the Los Angeles International
Gary Essert was born in Oakland, CA in 1938. After serving in the US Navy, he attended the University of California, Los Angeles,
where he started programming student and professional films. He designed and ran The Kaleidoscope (1967-69) and worked occasionally
as a graphic designer. With the assistance of George Cukor and others, Essert launched the first
Los Angeles International Film Exposition (Filmex) in Hollywood, CA (1971). The original intent of Filmex was to provide "an
exposition encompassing the remarkable diversity of contemporary film, the rich heritage of the motion picture art form, and
the promise of the future." Programming attracted thousands of viewers each year to screenings of productions
from around the world. Events ranged from Hollywood type premieres to free screenings, children's programs, retrospectives,
panels, and seminars. Filmex struggled with financial difficulty and in ca. 1984 Essert was forced to leave the organization.
Shortly after his departure Filmex ceased to operate having evolved into an annual event presented by American
Film Institute. He went on to create the American Cinematheque and also organized screenings for the LA Hollywood Bowl's "An
Old Fashioned Night at the Movies." Essert died of Aids in Los Angeles, CA on Dec. 16, 1992.