Thomson Foundation launches 2nd edition of IFFI Film Heritage Section

GOA: The Thomson Foundation for Film & TV Heritage has launched the second edition of the IFFI-Film Heritage Section at the 39th International Film Festival of India. The IFFI-Film Heritage Section, dedicated to worldwide film heritage, will open this year with a major restoration of the 1955 French film, Lola Montès.

With a view to highlight the restored version of Max Ophuls’ Lola Montès, the theme this year for the heritage section is Women. Films by George Cukor, Luis Bunuel, Mikio Naruse, Maurice Pialat and Ritwik Ghatak will be screened in this section.

Lola Montès was also the opening film at the Cannes Classics section in the 61st International Film Festival of Cannes in May 2008. The restoration of Lola Montès has been much acclaimed and the restored version has since been screened in renowned international festivals throughout Europe and the USA.

Thomson Foundation managing director Séverine Wemaere said, "It is our endeavor to sensitize and promote awareness among the audience and the people involved in cinema about the importance of restoring and preserving film heritage,. With an aim to highlight worldwide film heritage, The Thomson Foundation initiated and proposed to the International Film Festival of India to create a film heritage section in 2007.”

"The Thomson Foundation’s contribution to the Lola Montès restoration project underscores its efforts to promote original masterpieces in order to convey their importance in cinema history, the need for their preservation and the need to enable public exposure to these works. The second edition marks the continuity of the partnership in association with Cinémathèque française, Film & Television Institute of India and the support of the Film & TV Office of French Embassy in India," she added.

The Thomson Foundation was a key pillar of this huge restoration work as part of a united project team that included La Cinémathèque Française; the rights owners Films du Jeudi and Marcel Ophuls and the Franco-American Cultural Fund. The restoration of Lola Montès was complicated due to reconstruction of the original editing and due to physical damages that could only be recovered with digital technologies and processes.

The goal was to "rediscover" Ophuls’ original version faithful to the author’s wishes The Thomson Foundation brought together its Paris-based team with the best experts from Technicolor services in Los Angeles for this mega project.