Scorsese at Cannes to launch film preservation group
More than a dozen major film directors will sit on the board of the World Cinema Foundation, a group created by Martin Scorsese with the aim of finding and restoring neglected treasures of world cinema.
Scorsese launched the foundation Tuesday at the Cannes Film Festival, saying one priority would be to save films from Third World countries where there are no formal archives.
Scorsese founded The Film Foundation in the U.S. in 1990 and it has saved many early works on celluloid.
Yet 90 per cent of American silent movies have been lost, as have half of all U.S. movies made before 1950, Scorsese said.
"Things have changed but it's almost impossible to catch up," Scorsese said.
"So we thought over the past years it would be a wonderful thing to pull together the influence of directors around the world to work in their countries, to work on raising financing."
Among the directors Scorsese has pulled together are Guillermo Del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth), Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Babel), Wong Kar-wai (In the Mood for Love), Stephen Frears (The Queen) and Walter Salles (The Motorcycle Diaries ).
He's also had some success with raising financing, with Giorgio Armani donating six figures to the foundation.
The foundation is counting on directors to locate "neglected films" from their home countries, Scorsese said.
"It could be famous films which are no longer shown in theatres and not available on video, and films that are certainly not as well known," he said.
At Cannes, the foundation is presenting three restored films, from Morocco, Brazil and Romania, in an effort to spread its message about the need to preserve film's heritage.
Scorsese, who won two Oscars for The Departed, willgive a master class on moviemaking to students and film buffs on Thursday at Cannes and present the prize for the festival's best film by a first-time director.
With files from the Associated Press