Nancy Mysel

The Nancy Mysel Legacy Grant

$5,000 Grant for Film Preservation Students

The Film Noir Foundation invites film preservation students to apply now for the 2024 Nancy Mysel Legacy Grant. This $5,000 grant will be awarded by the FNF in January/February 2024 to a deserving undergraduate or graduate student in film restoration/preservation or moving image archive studies. The grant funds are to be used to enhance or benefit a student's film restoration/preservation or moving image archive studies.


Gabrielle NorteGabrielle "Gabz" Norte is a Cahuilla and Cupeño filmmaker, photographer, and MLIS graduate student at UCLA. She is an enrolled tribal member of the Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeño Indians in Warner Springs, CA. Her work focuses on Native culture, identity, and creating and preserving legacy for underrepresented people. Her short films have been the selections of various film festivals, winning awards such as Best Cinematography, Best Student Film, and the Summerhawk Native Film Award. Norte is a part of the 400 Years Project and Indigenous Photograph databases. She currently works as an AV preservation assistant with UCLA's Preservation and Conservation Department.

As a media archivist student and passionate film fan, she hopes to also do work in film restoration and preservation, creating access for future generations to classic, foreign, and independent cinema, and to rediscover, reimagine, and reframe history through a Native lens.

2022 GRANT RECIPIENT's year in review

Katie HigleyIn 2022, I gained experience in the field and met my undergraduate degree requirements thanks to the help of the Nancy Mysel Legacy Grant from the Film Noir Foundation. Winning the grant in January 2022 was a huge financial relief as I needed to complete an internship to finish my degree. Before receiving the grant, I was unsure if I would be able to complete an internship related to film preservation due to the financial cost and the lack of institutions offering such experience in my area.

As a direct result of winning the grant, I gained more experience with film preservation as I interned over the summer at the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research (WCFTR) in Madison, Wisconsin. At the WCFTR, I worked with the films of Tony Buba, a documentary filmmaker from Braddock, Pennsylvania. Much of my time was spent creating an inventory for the collection. Creating the inventory involved putting celluloid film on the bench to identify if it had a title, if there was a date, what film elements it had, what gauge it was, if there was sound, and if the film was in black and white or color. Buba's collection included some videos as well, which I also inventoried. Ultimately, I inventoried over 1,000 items. After finishing the inventory, I worked on creating catalog records for the films in the collection. To catalog, I rehoused the films in archival safe containers, gave each film a call number and a barcode, and uploaded the information to Alma. I ended up completing the process by adding over 300 films to Alma. My internship would have never been possible without the support of this grant. I had a great internship experience because I worked with wonderful people at the WCFTR, and I experienced so many new aspects of working with film from this experience, such as identifying elements that I have never seen before and using a Steenbeck. This experience has been instrumental in preparing me for advanced study working with film. I am currently applying to grad school and planning to attend a program where I can continue to gain experience with film and achieve my goal of becoming a film preservationist. I am incredibly thankful to the Film Noir Foundation for their support, and I hope to honor the memory of Nancy Mysel with my future endeavors.

—Katie Higley, Central Michigan University

How To Apply

Provide your contact information: name, address, phone number, email address and, if applicable, current resume and related film preservation work experience

Submit a personal essay answering the following questions:

1. What do you hope to accomplish with a career in film restoration/preservation?  

2. Why do you feel you have an aptitude for film restoration/ preservation work?

3. What related film preservation experience have you had and what impact has it had on you?

4. How will you use the $5,000 FNF- Nancy Mysel Legacy Grant grant funding?


Mail or email your application by December 15, 2023.

Grant Award Committee
Film Noir Foundation
1411 Paru Street
Alameda, CA 94501

PREFERRED: Applications to be sent as PDFs to with the subject line:  2024 Grant Submission - Name of Applicant

Award Notification

The 2024 Nancy Mysel Legacy Grant recipient will be announced at the end of January 2024.

Applicants will be notified by email of the grant decision at that time.


To apply for the grant, you must be a student currently enrolled in a college or university film preservation or moving image archive program.

It is not necessary to be a first-time Film Noir Foundation grant applicant. If you have applied before, but have not been awarded a grant, please re-apply.


Applicants confirm they are an undergraduate or graduate student currently enrolled in a film restoration/preservation or moving image archive studies program, and that they agree the grant funds will go toward their film preservation studies. At the end of the year, the FNF will ask the grant recipient for a short "How Was Your Year" essay.

Nancy Mysel
Legacy of a Cinema Savior


The fortunes of the Film Noir Foundation suffered a devastating setback in 2012. Nancy Mysel, film preservationist for UCLA Film & Television Archive, who supervised our restorations of The Prowler and Cry Danger, lost a long-running battle with cancer.

What makes this tragedy all the more intolerable is that Nancy, only 45, had just begun her cherished career as a cinema savior. In a few short years, she had made an astounding impact managing superb restorations of many films. In addition to rescuing more than a few films noir, Nancy resurrected a vital facet of film history with preservations of Dorothy Arzner's pre-Code films made at Paramount in the early 1930s.

A native of Paterson, New Jersey, Nancy began work as a preservationist at Boston University. She'd worked at UCLA Film & Television Archive since 1999, benefiting from the tutelage of legendary UCLA preservationist Robert Gitt. Together, they restored more than two-and-a-half hours of outtakes to create the documentary Charles Laughton Directs 'The Night of the Hunter,' included in the 2011 Criterion DVD of the 1955 feature.

I can't overstate how essential Nancy was to our success. Her commitment to the highest level of restoration set an immense standard, which she challenged everyone to meet—including us. Although personally shy and self-effacing, she was a passionate preservationist and an exacting taskmaster. The best way we can honor her legacy is by ensuring that everything we do in the future measures up to her incredible standard of excellence.

Before her death, Nancy sent me the following note: "There's no denying working with you on our beloved genre provided the greatest opportunities and enjoyment of my career. That you were so much fun to work with is only the icing on the cake. The screening of Cry Danger at the Castro was a special highlight I was able to share with my family. Thank you again, and keep fighting the good fight!"

The FNF is proud to carry on Nancy's work with a huge assist from her family.  Funded by the Mysel family and created in Nancy's honor, The Nancy Mysel Legacy Grant – the FNF's charitable adjunct –- grants funding to deserving students involved in cinema restoration. It's in the spirit of preservation and progress that we announce The Nancy Mysel Legacy Grant for 2023.