Two films by New Day Films founders added to the National Film Registry

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden recently announced the annual selection of 25 influential motion pictures to be inducted into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. Selected for their cultural, historic or aesthetic importance to preserve the nation’s film heritage, the newest selections include a vibrant diversity of American filmmakers, as well as landmark works in key genres and numerous documentaries.

Of the 25, two films by New Day Films founding members were inducted this year. Betty Tells Her Story, by Liane Brandon, and Union Maids, by Julia Reichert and Jim Klein. This is the first film by Brandon to be added to the LOC National Film Registry, and the second by Reichert and Klein. In 2011, Growing Up Female was the first film by Reichert and Klein added to the registry.

New Day Films was founded in 1971 by four independent filmmakers, Liane Brandon, Jim Klein, Julia Reichert (who passed away December 1st), and Amalie R. Rothschild, in order to distribute their feminist films and to create a democratically run distribution cooperative.

The Archive of Documentary Arts at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library is the home of the New Day Films collection, which includes the original founder’s films and the ever-expanding digital films collection.


About the Films

Betty Tells Her Story is the poignant tale of beauty, identity and a dress — and is considered a classic of documentary filmmaking. Made in 1972, it was the first independent film of the women’s movement to explore the issues of body image, self-worth and beauty in our culture — and to explore the ways in which clothing and appearance affect a woman’s identity.

Betty Tells Her Story Trailer


Sitdowns, scabs, goon squads, unemployment, hunger marches, red baiting and finally the energetic birth of the CIO: the 1930s were a landmark period for the American labor movement. Union Maids is the story of three women who lived that history and make it come alive today. It was the first film of its kind–an oral history, using a wealth of footage from the National Archives to chronicle the fight to form industrial unions as seen through the eyes of rank and file women.

Union Maids, Audio Described Trailer

Find Betty Tells Her Story in the New Day Films Archive and other films by Liane Brandon. The archive currently contains Reichert’s and Klein’s 1971 film, Growing Up Female, and Union Maids is in the process of being added.


50 Years of New Day Films

This past October, Duke University’s Archive of Documentary Arts and Screen/Society celebrated 50 years of New Day Films at the Rubenstein Arts Center Film Theater featuring four days of film screenings and discussions.