France’s mk2 films is set to distribute internationally a collection of Martin Scorsese’s prestigious restored films from the World Cinema Project, which is part of his banner The Film Foundation.
The World Cinema Project has so far restored 51 films from 29 different countries, representing the breadth and diversity of global cinema.
Scorsese, one of the greatest living film legends whose latest movie “Killers of the Flower Moon” world premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on May 20, created The Film Foundation to raise awareness and funds for the preservation of our cinematic history. Since its formation, The Film Foundation has helped to preserve and restore over 1,000 films from every era and genre, ranging from features to documentaries, newsreels, shorts, home movies, experimental and silent films.
“The Film Foundation’s partnership with mk2 creates greater international visibility for the films restored through the World Cinema Project,” said Scorsese. “These incredible films are an essential part of our collective film heritage; making them available to a wider international audience is a goal we share with mk2. We’re excited to work together on this exciting program,” Scorsese continued.
Nathanaël Karmitz, Mk2 Films’ CEO, said “Film heritage and preservation has always been core to Mk2’s activity. We are honored to partner with Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation and their vital work in restoring and preserving under-exposed classics of international cinema.”
“It is a real privilege to distribute these titles, introducing them to new audiences and confirming and maintaining their cultural importance,” Karmitz continued.
The World Cinema Project’s restored titles will join mk2 films’ catalogue of over 1,000 titles from cult filmmakers such as Charles Chaplin, Abbas Kiarostami, and Agnès Varda. The company has also launched events to promote classics from its library, for instance Krzysztof Kieślowski’s “Three Colours” trilogy which was recently re-released.
Created in 2007, the World Cinema Project expanded the foundation’s mission globally, to regions where preservation resources and infrastructure are scarce. To date, 51 films from Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Central America, South America, and the Middle East have been restored, preserved and exhibited for a global audience, sometimes for the first time outside of their country of origin.
The World Cinema Project was created in partnership with the Pan African Federation of Filmmakers (FEPACI), UNESCO, and the Cineteca di Bologna in 2017 to launch the African Film Heritage Project, an initiative to locate, preserve, and distribute African cinema, as identified by FEPACI’s advisory board of archivists, scholars, and filmmakers. The WCP also supports educational programs, including Restoration Film Schools; intensive, results-oriented workshops allowing students and professionals worldwide to learn the art and science of film restoration and preservation.
Along with this new partnership with The Film Foundation, mk2 films has also recently added to its library “The Times of Harvey Milk” by Rob Epstein and “The Celluloid Closet” by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, among others.