Abu Dhabi Film Festival to Host the Film Foundation/World Cinema Project

Abu Dhabi Film Festival

9/28/2014 12:00:00 PM

ADFF has announced a collaboration with Martin Scorsese’s The Film Foundation/ World Cinema Project (WCP).

As part of the collaboration, two newly restored international masterworks– Sergei Parajanov's THE COLOR OF POMEGRANATES and Lino Brocka’s MANILA IN THE CLAWS OF LIGHT– will be screened during ADFF, which takes place from October 23 to November 1, 2014. Both films were digitally restored in 4K resolution by the Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata and The Film Foundation/World Cinema Project and will be shown with existing English subtitles as well as new Arabic subtitles, provided by ADFF.

Established in 1990 by Martin Scorsese, The Film Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting, preserving and presenting motion pictures. By working in partnership with the leading archives, museums and studios, the foundation has saved over 620 films and shown these restorations throughout the world. The Film Foundation created the World Cinema Project (WCP) to focus on the preservation and restoration of neglected films from around the world - particularly those countries lacking the financial and technical infrastructure to preserve their indigenous cinematic history.

WCP will be hosting a workshop at ADFF aimed at raising awareness for the global cause of film preservation and educating filmmakers about the importance of preserving their films. ADFF will work to promote future screenings of films restored by WCP at other festivals in the Arab region and across the globe.

Ali Al Jabri, Festival Director, said: “Cinema is an international language and ADFF strives to bring about enthusiasm, variety and a celebration of this universal form of expression. We are delighted to be collaborating with WCP to present these landmark films from Armenia and the Philippines as part of our strong commitment towards the global cause of film preservation and restoration. Each film is a cinematic revelation depicting a culture seldom seen by audiences on-screen.”

THE COLOR OF POMEGRANATES (1968) by Armenian director Sergei Parajanov, is a biography of the Armenian poet Sayat Nova that attempts to reveal the poet’s life visually and poetically depicting his coming of age, discovery of the female form, falling in love, entering a monastery and dying, all framed through both Parajanov’s imagination and the poems of Sayat Nova.

MANILA IN THE CLAWS OF LIGHT (1975) by Filipino director Lino Brocka, is an intense melodrama shot on the streets of Manila depicting the richly romantic but realistic odyssey of a boy named Julio, who arrives in Manila from the country to search for his childhood sweetheart, Ligaya. It is widely considered a landmark achievement of Filipino cinema.

“We’re honored to be a part of ADFF this year and present a special program on restored films by The Film Foundation (TFF) and the World Cinema Project,” said Margaret Bodde, Executive Director of The Film Foundation. “ADFF and TFF share a global commitment to the importance of film preservation, education, and public exhibition and we look forward to a fruitful partnership.”

The Film Foundation (TFF) and long-time partner Gucci will be presenting a special 4K screening of REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE directed by Nicholas Ray. The film was digitally restored by Warner Bros., with support from Gucci and The Film Foundation. Also being presented by is the digital restoration of THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP, directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, which was restored by the Academy Film Archive in association with the BFI National Archive, ITV Studios Global Entertainment Ltd., and The Film Foundation. TFF will present clips showing the “before and after” restoration process as part of the program at ADFF. Also screening is A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, directed by Italian filmmaker Sergio Leone, which was restored by the Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata Laboratory and screening at ADFF courtesy of The Film Foundation for its 50th anniversary.

Two other films celebrating their 50th anniversary this year have also been newly restored and will be shown as part of the Restored Classics on this occasion: Walt Disney’s celebrated musical MARY POPPINS starring Julie Andrews; Richard Lester’s acclaimed rock n’ roll musical A HARD DAY’S NIGHT, starring The Beatles and featuring a newly created surround sound mix at Abbey Road Studios.


Martin Scorsese Backs Kodak on Film Stock Production

Dave McNary

8/3/2014 12:00:00 AM

Martin Scorsese has strongly supported Kodak’s decision to continue its production of film stock. The director, who’s been actively involved in film preservation, noted that “film is still the best and only time-proven way to preserve movies.” 

Kodak revealed last week that it was planning to continue the production of film stock as the company worked to finalize agreements with studios to save the format in the digital age. Major filmmakers like J.J. Abrams and Quentin Tarantino have lobbied to save Kodak, which has seen sales fall 96% in the past eight years. 

Scorsese chairs The Film Foundation. Here’s the entire statement: 

“We have many names for what we do – cinema, movies, motion pictures. And… film. We’re called directors, but more often we’re called filmmakers. Filmmakers. I’m not suggesting that we ignore the obvious: HD isn’t coming, it’s here. The advantages are numerous: the cameras are lighter, it’s much easier to shoot at night, we have many more means at our disposal for altering and perfecting our images. And, the cameras are more affordable: films really can be made now for very little money. Even those of us still shooting on film finish in HD, and our movies are projected in HD. So, we could easily agree that the future is here, that film is cumbersome and imperfect and difficult to transport and prone to wear and decay, and that it’s time to forget the past and say goodbye – really, that could be easily done. Too easily. It seems like we’re always being reminded that film is, after all, a business. But film is also an art form, and young people who are driven to make films should have access to the tools and materials that were the building blocks of that art form. Would anyone dream of telling young artists to throw away their paints and canvases because iPads are so much easier to carry? Of course not. In the history of motion pictures, only a minuscule percentage of the works comprising our art form was not shot on film. Everything we do in HD is an effort to recreate the look of film. Film, even now, offers a richer visual palette than HD. And, we have to remember that film is still the best and only time-proven way to preserve movies. We have no assurance that digital information will last, but we know that film will, if properly stored and cared for. 

Our industry – our filmmakers – rallied behind Kodak because we knew that we couldn’t afford to lose 
them, the way we’ve lost so many other film stocks. This news is a positive step towards preserving film, 
the art form we love.” 

Paris Barclay, president of the Directors Guild of America, issued a similar statement on July 31: “We join our members in applauding efforts to ensure that directors have the continued choice of making our movies on film. Film vs digital is a topic of passionate discussion within the filmmaking community; while most appreciate the opportunities that digital provides, directors and fans alike share a love for thebeauty and history of film. We’re incredibly pleased that film will remain a viable option for filmmakers for the foreseeable future.” 


Quentin Tarantino to close the Festival with a celebration of Sergio Leone

Festival de Cannes

5/20/2014 12:00:00 PM

Quentin Tarantino to close the Festival de Cannes with a celebration of the life and work of Sergio Leone. A Fistful of Dollars by Sergio Leone will be screened at the Awards Ceremony on Saturday 24th May.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the birth of the Spaghetti Western in 1964, the Festival de Cannes will be showing A Fistful of Dollars directed by Sergio Leone that same year and starring Clint Eastwood and Gian Maria Volontè. The film will be screened on Saturday 24th May, after the prizes have been awarded, using the exceptional new copy restored by the Cineteca di Bologna. 

The event will be hosted by Quentin Tarantino, a great admirer of Sergio Leone, who has always been open about how much his own film making owes to the influence of the Western’s great Italian masters.

The restoration of A Fistful of Dollars was undertaken by the Cineteca di Bologna and Unidis Jolly Film (the film’s original producer and distributor) with the involvement of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation. The work was carried out by the Immagine Ritrovata film restoration laboratory. The original Techniscope camera negative was digitised by immersion and restored to 4K resolution. Cinematographer Ennio Guarneri oversaw the digital calibration and a period copy printed in Technicolor was used as a visual reference. The digital restoration of the sound was achieved with two optical negatives of the English version owned by Unidis Jolly Film and MGM, remixed with two separate magnetic sets that contained the original pre-mixes of the music and the effects.

The screening is made possible thanks to the right holders: the Paladino family and Unidis Jolly Film. Special thanks go to the Leone family.



Peter Debruge

10/29/2013 12:00:00 AM

Even rebels need a little touch-up now and then.

On Nov. 1, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art will unveil a fresh restoration of Nicholas Ray’s “Rebel Without a Cause” — just one of several recent LACMA events spotlighting the work of Martin Scorsese and his nonprofit preservation org, the Film Foundation.

The Gucci-sponsored restoration of “Rebel,” carried out by Warner Bros., demonstrates that popular pics can be just as susceptible to the effects of age as obscure ones. The original color negative had been badly faded and partly destroyed, owing to its use for repeated re-releases, while the stereo soundtrack master was erased and reused years ago.

On Nov. 2, the night after the “Rebel” screening, LACMA will honor both Scorsese and painter David Hockney at the museum’s third annual Art+Film Gala, a benefit reflecting the LACMA board’s newly enlightened view that film is art and deserves a place in the museum alongside more traditional forms.

Four years earlier, Scorsese had been a vocal defender of LACMA’s screening program, which museum honcho Michael Govan had threatened to discontinue. According to Margaret Bodde, exec director of the Film Foundation, a discussion between the two changed things. “Growing out of that initial conversation between Michael Govan and Marty, (the LACMA board) decided to do this annual event, Art+Film, and to more actively bring film into their activities and their curatorial sensibility,” she said.

The Film Foundation’s restoration efforts are also evident in polishing four films French helmer Agnes Varda made while living in California: “Uncle Yanco” (1967), “Black Panthers” (1968), “Lions Love” (1969) and “Mur Murs” (1981). Though Varda and her daughter have updated most of her French films, the U.S. titles were languishing, Bodde says, inspiring the Film Foundation to get involved. “Lions Love” screen Oct. 29. Though best known for its work in salvaging endangered movies, the Film Foundation is equally dedicated to fostering film culture, and the shift at LACMA counts as a significant victory. “Being able to see the best possible version of a film in a communal setting on the bigscreen is something that’s equally important to restoration,” Bodde says. “If they’re just sitting in an archive, it’s not really closing the circle. You want them to be seen.”



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