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Finding Aid for the Gary Essert Filmex Files, 1966-1981
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Gary Essert Filmex Files
    Date (inclusive): 1966-1981
    Collection number: 270
    Creator: Essert, Gary
    Extent: 39 boxes (19.25 linear ft.)
    Abstract: 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 Film Exposition(Filmex).
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Performing Arts Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library, Performing Arts Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.


    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.

    Scope and Content

    The collection is partially processed and consists of documents and photographs relating to over 750 films shown at the Los Angeles International Film Exposition (Filmex). Inventory consists of a box list only. Files may contain application material, photographic material, original or photocopied clippings, promotional material, and ephemera.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Essert, Gary--Archives.
    Los Angeles International Film Exposition--Archives.
    Motion pictures--Exhibitions--Archival resources.

    Genres and Forms of Material

    Motion picture stills.