Library of Congress Festival of Film & Sound announces the addition of
Oscar-Winning Sound Designer Ben Burtt
The Library of Congress is pleased to announce that four-time Oscar-winning motion picture sound designer and sound mixer Ben Burtt will be a special guest for the inaugural Library of Congress Festival of Film & Sound, a new four-day event celebrating the Library’s rich moving image and recorded sound collections. This year’s program will focus on different aspects of “Music and Sound.” Held in association with the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, the festival will take place June 15 to 18 at the American Film Institute’s historic theater in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Ben Burtt received a Special Achievement Oscar for the creation of the alien, creature and robot voices featured in “Star Wars” (1977) and for Sound Effects Editing for “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981); he won Oscars for Sound Effects Editing for “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” (1982) and “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” (1989). He also earned nominations in the Sound Mixing category for “Return of the Jedi” (1983) and “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”; in Sound Effects Editing for “Return of the Jedi” and “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace” (1999), and for Sound Editing and Sound Mixing for “WALL-E” (2008).
At the Festival, Ben will discuss the history of motion picture sound effects, followed by the east coast premiere of “Spy Smasher Strikes Back,” his edit of the 1942 12-chapter Republic Pictures serial “Spy Smasher.” Based on a popular comic book character, this is the exciting tale of a costumed hero battling the Nazis in the early days of America’s entry into World War II. In addition to condensing the 215-minute serial into one 94-minute feature, Burtt enhanced the sound effects, remastered the mix in stereo surround, included additional Republic special effects footage, and incorporated a few scenes from other Republic films. This “love letter to Republic” brings to life a new crackerjack thriller that would leave Indiana Jones breathless.
In addition, Ben will participate in an on-stage Q&A featuring excerpts from the many iconic films he worked on throughout his career. He will discuss the inspiration and creation of the sound and voice effects that have become iconic in American cinema.
Launching on the evening of Thursday, June 15, the Library of Congress Festival of Film & Sound will continue with three full days of programming, featuring screenings, speaker sessions with Q&As and additional festivities and surprises.
Festival passes are now available at AFI.com/Silver for $150. Passes grant admission to all festival programs taking place June 15-18, 2023. If festival passes are sold out, no day tickets will be available.
With more to be added, you can view the current screenings, speakers and the festival schedule at www.loc.gov/events/film-and-sound-festival. The website also has information on numerous hotels in walking distance of the AFI Silver Theatre.
If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected]