Every year, the Library of Congress adds 25 movies to the National Film Registry, which are all examples of "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant films." The films are then preserved for future generations to enjoy. This year, Bambi, Forrest Gump, Silence of the Lambs, and 22 other movies have been included into the National Film Registry, according to Collider.
These three films join movies like Apocalypse Now, Citizen Kane, Annie Hall, and a whole host of other films dating back to the 1800's. For a movie to be considered, it must be at least 10 years old, but it's not necessary for it to be a feature-length movie. Music videos, newsreels, serials, documentaries, and TV movies are all eligible for the Registry as well.
The Registry was started in 1988 during a time when it was realized that many classic films had become lost over time, and this was a measure that was taken in order to ensure their preservation. With the advent of DVDs, digital copies, and other modern techniques, film preservation has taken great leaps, but being added to the Registry is still seen as an honor for filmmakers.
[via Collider, The Nation Film Registry]