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in Filmmaking
on May 15, 2009

In a release sent out today at Cannes, World Cinema Foundation’s founder and chairman Martin Scorsese announced that the organization, dedicated to the preservation and restoration of neglected films from around the world, has formed separate partnerships with B-Side Entertainment and virtual cinematheque The Auteurs to market, promote and distribute a slate of restored WCF titles (Criterion will also be involved). Former New York Film Society associate director of programming, Kent Jones, has come on as the WCF’s new executive director.

From the release:

The films that the WCF restores every year will now have their festival premiere in Cannes and then begin their tour to the public via a network of other festivals and museum exhibitions. During the museum tour of the restored 35mm prints, the films will also now be made available digitally for the first time through The Auteurs. Shortly after the film premieres digitally, the films will roll out through the partnership with B-Side to universities and film clubs, and also will reach film lovers at home through B-Side’s relationships with platforms such as Netflix and iTunes. Ultimately, the films will be made available on DVD in collectors’ edition box sets through a partnership with The Criterion Collection who will also select a few titles each year to distribute individually with all of the elements that come with their special edition expertise. The WCF would then be able to reinvest a share of revenues from these new forms of distribution into other neglected films for preservation and restoration.

More specifically, The Auteurs’ partnership with the WCF makes four of the film titles immediately available for free on a global level through a newly dedicated WCF portal on their site. Members of The Auteurs can share ratings and reviews of these and other WCF films with their friends both on the site and other social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. The Auteurs will also host forums for discussion around the films and filmmakers, video interviews with filmmakers and experts, as well as articles about the films and the restoration process. WCF board members including Martin Scorsese will also have profiles on the site so they can take part in the discussions of the films.

In addition to exhibition of the films, B-Side’s partnership with WCF and The Auteurs will focus on re-developing and re-launching the WCF website, making it a full-service destination for information about the WCF titles. Once fully launched, the site will be a central source of information on where and how the films can be seen, as well as being a destination for social networking among fans of the WCF films. B-Side will work together with The Auteurs to market and promote the WCF and its films across all platforms.

The WCF titles that will initially be featured as part of these new partnerships with B-Side and The Auteurs include older and newer titles which the WCF has presented in previous years or which will be presented this year as part of the Cannes Classics Series. Titles that Scorsese and the WCF will present at this year’s Cannes Classics Series include Shadi Abdel Salam’s AL MOMIA (The Mummy – The Night of Counting the Years – Egypt, 1969), Edward Yang’s A BRIGHTER SUMMMER DAY (Gu ling jie shao nian sha ren shi jian – Taiwan, 1991), and Fred Zinnemann and Emilio Gómez Muriel’s REDES (THE WAVE, Mexico, 1936). Previous titles will include Metin Erksan’s SUSUZ YAZ (Dry Summer – Turkey, 1964), Djibril Diop Mambéty TOUKI BOUKI (Senegal, 1973), Kim Ki-Young’s HANYO (The Housemaid – South Korea, 1960), and Ahmed El Maanouni’s TRANCES / EL HAL (Transes – Morocco, 1981). Effective today, four of these titles are already being made available at www.theauteurs.com/WCF.

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