AUSTIN, Texas — Lauded screen legend Meryl Streep and esteemed film critic and historian Leonard Maltin will join special guest Robert De Niro in Austin on Sept. 24 for “A Celebration of Film.” The star-studded evening supports preservation and access to historical film materials archived at the Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin.
The Ransom Center will mark its 65th anniversary by creating an endowment honoring De Niro, whose archive is housed at the Center and who is a special guest at the gala at the AT&T Hotel and Conference Center in Austin.
Maltin, author of “Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide,” will act as master of ceremonies, joining very special guests, Academy Award winners Streep and De Niro for an evening celebrating filmmaking and film history to benefit the Center’s film collection.
“In an era of rumors and disinformation, it is more crucial than ever for authors and scholars to have access to primary sources,” Maltin said. “The Harry Ransom Center has long been a haven for researchers who deal with film history. I applaud their continued efforts to acquire material from leading filmmakers. Whether it’s a first draft of a screenplay or a piece of wardrobe that helped an actor create a performance, this is history brought to vivid life.”
To allow more people to participate, the Ransom Center will expand this celebration of film by holding its first-ever ticketed, post-gala public event starting at 9 p.m. on Sept. 24 at the Center. Highlights planned for the Post-Production Afterparty are live music by Austin sensation Money Chicha, custom cocktails, delectable bites, fun lounges, a photo booth and more. Celebrated actors Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson and Andrew Wilson are honorary co-hosts in tribute to the Ransom Center’s fall exhibition, “The Writers: Portraits by Laura Wilson,” which opened Aug. 27.
Timed with the anniversary and fundraising gala, the Center will open a new exhibition featuring items from the Robert De Niro Papers on view to the public this fall. The exhibition examines his early years at the American Workshop, in acting instructor Stella Adler’s classes, and in plays and films that marked his initial successes and learning experiences. Also highlighted are many of his collaborations and friendships both inside and outside the film industry.
De Niro began donating his archive to the Center in 2006, and the collection contains annotated screenplays, correspondence, production records, film stills and behind-the-scenes photographs, posters and publicity materials, props, costumes, videotapes and motion picture film.
The Ransom Center’s film collection tells the stories of significant Hollywood producers, directors, writers and actors from the silent era and the Golden Age of Hollywood through the rise of independent filmmakers and into the age of blockbusters and the new millennium.
For more information about the gala or to purchase tickets, visit hrc.utexas.edu/gala.