'Grease', 'The Dark Knight' and 'Shrek' among titles selected for preservation on the National Film Registry

Twenty five films have been added to the registry thanks to their cultural, historic and artistic importance

This image released by the Library of Congress shows Olivia Newton John, left, and John Travolta in a scene from the 1978 film "Grease." The film was added to the National Film Registry. (Paramount Pictures-Library of Congress via AP)

This year’s entries into the National Film Registry have been announced, and they include a record number of female directors and filmmakers of colour.

The Library of Congress announced on Monday that The Dark Knight, Suspense and Grease are among the 25 films tapped for preservation this year.

“With the inclusion of diverse filmmakers, we are not trying to set records but rather to set the record straight by spotlighting the astonishing contributions women and people of colour have made to American cinema, despite facing often-overwhelming hurdles,” Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress, said in a statement.

This image released by the Library of Congress shows Heath Ledger, left, and Christian Bale in a scene from the 2008 film "The Dark Knight." The film was added to the National Film Registry. (Warner Bros.-Library of Congress via AP)

Since the registry began in 1988, the library has selected films for preservation based on their cultural, historic and artistic importance. This year’s picks bring the total number of films in the registry to 800.

Music features heavily in this year's selection, with the 1943 film adaptation of Broadway musical Cabin in the Sky and The Blues Brothers making the list. The Blues Brothers director John Landis called the film's selection into the registry a "delightful surprise".

“The film is the result of Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi’s genuine passion for rhythm and blues and our mutual love for these great African-American artists and the city of Chicago,” said Landis.

The library chose other memorable titles such as Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker, animated film Shrek and The Joy Luck Club, a film based on Amy Tan's bestselling book that told the saga of two generations of Asian-American women. The 2010 documentary Freedom Riders, also making its way into the registry, told an inspiring story about civil rights activists who fought against racial segregation on buses and trains in the 1960s.

The other films directed by women include Lois Weber's Suspense, Ida May Park's Bread, Aloha Wanderwell's With Car and Camera Around the World, Ida Lupino's Outrage, Kathleen Collins's Losing Ground, Julie Dash's Illusions, Lourdes Portillo's The Devil Never Sleeps and Mauna Kea: Temple Under Siege by Joan Lander.

Additional films on the list include Kid Auto Races at Venice (1914), The Battle of the Century (1927), The Man with the Golden Arm (1955), A Clockwork Orange (1971), Wattstax (1973), Buena Vista Social Club (1999) and The Ground (1993-2001).

Additional reporting by Associated Press