Mill Valley Film Festival Collection

Finding aid created by Mill Valley Public Library staff using RecordEXPRESS
Mill Valley Public Library
375 Throckmorton Avenue
Mill Valley, California 94941
415-389-4292 x203

Descriptive Summary

Title: Mill Valley Film Festival Collection
Dates: 1977-2017
Collection Number: MS.2017.020
Creator/Collector: California Film Institute
Extent: 2 linear feet, 1 oversize folder, 1 legal-size folder, approximately 200 digital files
Online items available
Repository: Mill Valley Public Library
Mill Valley, California 94941
Abstract: A collection of photographs, programs, posters, and ephemera associated with the Mill Valley Film Festival from 1977-2017.
Language of Material: English


Collection is open for research. Original materials may be viewed with permission from staff. Digital copies of materials may be available. Materials in this collection do not circulate.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item]. Mill Valley Film Festival Collection. Collection Number: MS.2017.020. Mill Valley Public Library

Biography/Administrative History

The Mill Valley Film Festival was founded in 1977 by Mark Fishkin, Rita Cahill, and Lois Kohl Shore, who served as festival director, festival coordinator, and managing director, respectively. The trio formed the Film Institute of Northern California, now known as the California Film Institute (CFI), and created the first Festival as a three-day event held in August of 1978 at the Sequoia Theatre in Mill Valley. The first president of the Board of Directors was Andrew Maguire, serving for five years. The earliest board members were casting agent Ann Brebner and Sid Ganis of LucasFilm. Zoë Elton, hired as the first employee, took on the role of office manager. The Mill Valley Film Festival began when Fishkin received a grant from the Mill Valley Arts Commission. With help of staff and board members, as well as many people in the community, the Festival has gradually grown, becoming renowned as a “filmmakers’ festival.” Initially focusing on Bay Area filmmakers, the Mill Valley Film Festival now draws internationally acclaimed and award-winning actors, writers, producers and directors, and also hosts events at Cannes, musical showcases at the Sweetwater Music Hall, panels, seminars, workshops, and a Children’s FilmFest. At the time this guide was written, Fishkin is still presiding as executive director. Founding board member Cahill remained as an emeritus board member. Shore had stayed on for the first two and a half years until moving out of state. The Festival’s first employee, Elton, is director of programming.

Scope and Content of Collection

This collection comprises one box of photographs, one oversize folder of posters, one box of programs, one legal-size folder of ephemera, born-digital photographs in TIFF and JPEG format, and electronic versions of posters and programs. The materials pertain to the Mill Valley Film Festival, including its attendees, staff, volunteers, events, and programming.

Indexing Terms

Directors, film
Film festivals
Producers, film
Cahill, Rita
Elton, Zoë
Fishkin, Mark
Mill Valley Film Festival
Mill Valley (Calif.)
San Rafael (Calif.)