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updated: 4/18/2014 6:12 AM

Indiana native donates black film materials to IU

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Associated Press

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- An Indiana native who became an advocate for black filmmakers has donated a large collection of materials from the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame to an Indiana University film center.

Mary Perry Smith's donation to IU's Black Film Center/Archive includes more than 300 linear feet of records, publications and memorabilia from the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame, which Smith co-founded.

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Her donation also includes the original grave maker of Oscar Micheaux, who in 1919 became was the first African-American filmmaker to produce a feature-length film.

Smith was born in Evansville in 1926 and currently lives in Oakland, Calif. She decided to donate the collection after meeting with the director and archivist of the IU's Black Film Center/Archive.

Once the collection is processed, it will be made available for researchers.

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