UW Today

This is an archived article.

January 28, 2010

‘Prisoner Release’: What’s the story on this week’s Lost and Found Film?

Editor’s Note: The UW Audio Visual Services Materials Library has more than 1,200 reels of film from the late 1940s through the early 1970s, documenting life at the University through telecourses, commercial films and original productions. Some of the short films are easily identifiable, but many more remain mysteries. Who shot these films and why? Can you help answer those questions? Faculty and staff can use the comments field at the end of the story to send ideas. Those outside the University can e-mail filmarc@u.washington.edu.


This week’s film was shot on campus, and except for the clothes and haircuts, it doesn’t look all that different from today. However, the title, UW Prisoner Release, tells us the student featured isn’t an ordinary one.

Shot in 1973, this two-minute film opens with the student walking across campus. His hair is over his collar, he has a mustache and he’s wearing light-colored bell bottoms. The scene switches to inside. We see the student sitting at a table, listening to a woman lecture, then listening to a panel in a different room and finally speaking himself in front of a classroom. The film closes with him jogging across campus.

Film Archive Specialist Hannah Palin would like to know:


  • What was UW Prisoner Release?
  • What department was involved with this program?
  • Who is the featured student?
  • Why was this film taken and how was it used?


Palin is still looking for information on last week’s film, Cedar River, which depicts research on fish. Give her a hand, if you can, with that film or this week’s.