BFI deal with Sky Arts

The British media and entertainment website Digital Spy carried this story today about the BFI’s renewed sponsorship deal with Sky Arts:

Sky Arts helps BFI classics convert to HD

Monday, September 10, 2007

By Joanne Oatts, Media Correspondent

In a second sponsorship deal with the BFI, Sky Arts is to support the creation of high definition versions of 13 classic films from the BFI National Archive.

Last year in a similar deal, Sky Arts sponsored the HD restoration of 16 BFI films including Derek Jarman’s Caravaggio and Terence Davies’ Distant Voices, Still Lives.

This year’s BFI sponsorship deal will mean Sky Arts has exclusive rights to the films, which will be transmitted in HD for a full year from September.

John Cassy, channel manager of Sky Arts, said: ‘Sky Arts is proud to be working with the BFI once again to show these magnificent films in all their glory. These seminal titles shall take pride of place in our regular Wednesday night film slot.’

The films being converted to HD include 1930s European avant-garde classic Borderline – featuring a new specially commissioned score by Courtney Pine; Humphrey Jennings’ documentaries London Can Take It!, Fires Were Started, The Silent Village, The True Story of Lili Marlene and A Diary For Timothy; Alfred Hitchcock’s war-time short films Bon Voyage and Aventure Malgache; 1991’s Young Soul Rebels; cult British road movie Radio On; the Terence Davies trilogy Children, Madonna and Child and Death and Transfiguration; and the Lotte Reiniger fairy tales Jack and the Beanstalk, The Magic Horse and Thumbelina.

Amanda Nevill, director of the BFI said: ‘The BFI National Archive is the world’s largest and most important collection of film and television. Digital technologies open up many new opportunities for us to show that collection to the widest possible audience. We are very happy to be renewing our collaboration with Sky Arts to re-master these films so that people can benefit from the enhanced viewing experience that HD brings.’

2 thoughts on “BFI deal with Sky Arts

  1. I’m very happy to see anyone doing anything with Radio On, but christ, what’s the obsession with HD and re-redoing relatively well-known films? Doesn’t Paolo Cherchi Usai have something to say at the beginning of The Death of Cinema about the perpetual re-restoration of Metropolis carried out to the detriment of other restoration projects? The “widest possible” audience might not be getting the “widest possible” idea of what’s actually in the national archive.

  2. Sky Arts is one of the channels available through Sky’s Style and Culture subscription package, so this is about niche marketing rather than reaching wide audiences.It’s not clear what the implications are of Sky’s retaining exclusive rights to these HD versions — presumably the BFI has gained more from the deal than exhibition space for the archive’s collection?

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