Discoveries of a Lifetime: Levi Bettweiser’s Rescued Film Project

Levi Bettweiser is a photographer. He’s also the founder of The Rescued Film Project—an amazing online archive of images captured on film between the 1930s and the late 1990s. Every image in the collection was rescued from rolls of undeveloped film that Bettweiser obtained from a variety of locations across the globe.

While much of the film came to Bettweiser degraded by heat, moisture and age, he makes it his mission to painstakingly “rescue” and process the images. Why? He explains that every image in The Rescued film Project was, at some point, special for someone. “Each frame captured, reflects a moment that was intended to be remembered,” he notes. “The picture was taken, the roll was finished, wound up, and for reasons we can only speculate, was never developed.”

Hence, Bettweiser’s mission: “We believe that these images deserve to be seen, so that the photographer’s personal experiences can be shared—forever marking their existence in history.”

In one remarkable discovery The Rescued Film Project bought 31 rolls of undeveloped film at an auction last year; images taken by an unknown soldier during World War II. Labels on the film rolls suggest the soldier was an American fighting in France. Levi set about developing them the film– and the results are quite interesting. You can view a video to learn more about the organization and see some of the images here: