European Genre Film Foundation (EGFF) Launches at Cannes
The preservation of genre cinema continues to grow and gain momentum around the world. Today at Cannes the European Genre Film Foundation (EGFF) was launched.
This non-profit organization aims to preserve European genre cinema titles, modelling itself after the American Genre Film Archive. As stated in the announcement below, "... the EGFF will work with film libraries, archives, rights holders, academics, film festivals and other institutions to preserve an often overlooked part of film history".
The work that the EGFF will do is extensive. Apart from restoration, "arranging symposiums, workshops and film screenings" are also part of the plan. They will work with exhibitors, film festivals and on their own to bring these films back to the big screen.
The first batch of films EGFF is working on are Joseph W. Sarno's Swedish erotic drama Young Playthings. Six Sueden Poruno films, made by Nikkatsu (Yes. THAT Nikkatsu) starring Swedish actors. Calvin Floyd's 1977 film, Victor Frankenstein (Terror of Frankenstein), another Swedish coproduction. Arne Mattsson's fantasy drama, Vaxdockan (The Doll). And the only non-Swedish film of this first batch is Pigalle - Crossing of Illusions (Pigalle carrefour des illusions), a French crime drama thriller from 1973, made by Pierre Chevalier.
Why such a strong Swedish representation this first round? THE EGFF will be headquartered in Stockholm and one of EGFF's board members is Rickard Gramfors of Cultpix, which is also based in the Swedish capital. Cultpix is an online SVoD service that shows cult and genre films that are in the public domain. Proceeds from Cultpix will help fund the EGFF's efforts.
It is a long road ahead for the EGFF but we applaud their efforts and look foward to seeing what they unearth across Europe.
European Genre Film Foundation (EGFF) Launches at Cannes Film FestivalStreaming platform Cultpix to fund genre film restoration and research projectsThe 75th Cannes Film Festival today saw the unveiling of the European Genre Film Foundation. The EGFF is an international non-profit organization established with the aim of restoring and raising awareness of classic genre films in Europe and globally. Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, but with an international Board of Directors and focus, the EGFF will work with film libraries, archives, rights holders, academics, film festivals and other institutions to preserve an often overlooked part of film history.The EGFF is modelled on the excellent work already done by the likes of Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation and the American Genre Film Archive (AGFA) in the US. The funding for the EGFF will come from the proceeds of streaming public domain films on the Cultpix SVoD platform and other sources. Launched last year, Cultpix has since then established itself as the leading global service for classic cult and genre films, with over two dozen content partners and over 800 films and TV shows, adding 30-40 more titles every month.Commenting on the launch, EGFF Chairperson and Cultpix Co-Founder Rickard Gramfors said, “While there has been a growing recognition by film institutes and academics of the importance that historic genre films have played in Europe, this is the first time that there is a dedicated international organization to preserve them for future audiences.” Furthermore, “genre films have been the launching pad of many famous directors, actors and creatives, who have gone on to be feted in Cannes; as well as touching on controversial topics long before they entered mainstream cinema,” said Dr Kate Egan, Senior Lecturer, University of Northumbria and Board member of the EGFF.Amongst the first projects of the EGFF will be an academic study of historic female genre film makers in Europe as well as raising funds for a 4K film scanner set-up dedicated to digitizing and restoring genre films and related material that is languishing in archives. The EGFF will also be arranging symposiums, workshops and film screenings, both on its own and in collaboration with other film festivals and cinema operators. The EGFF will not itself publish or distribute films, but instead identify, support and partner existing rights holders and libraries, for whom accessing material in its archives has not been commercially viable.The Board of Directors of the European Genre Film Foundation includes:Rickard Gramfors, CEO, Cultpix AB/Klubb Super 8 AB (Sweden)Lisa Petrucci, CEO, Something Weird Video (USA)Dr Kate Egan, Senior Lecturer, University of Northumbria (UK)Prof. Mariah Larsson, Institution for Film and Literature, Linné University (Sweden)Gérald Duchaussoy, Project Manager, International Classic Film Market Lyon, Head of Cannes Classics (France)Mikko Aromaa, Director, Night Visions, chairman, Nordic Genre Invasion (Finland)Henrik Gouali, Administrator Social Sustainability and Collaboration, SLSO (Sweden)Further Board Members will be announced in the near future.Genre films are considered particularly relevant for European film legacy, with many territories being the points of origin of categories of films that have since gone global, including the German Expressionism that underpinned Noir crime dramas, Italian Giallo thrillers and Spaghetti Westerns, Britain’s Hammer Horror, French literary erotica, etc. While a handful of such films are getting belated recognition by national film archives, critics and academics, for every one such film rescued and restored, countless more are forgotten and left to deteriorate in dusty cans, if they are not already lost forever.In its next phase the EGFF will begin consultations with European film archives, public institutions and rights holders about developing a comprehensive plan and workflow for identifying, rescuing, scanning and making as many of these films available to the widest possible audience of film lovers and film historians. This is the part of the European film heritage that never walked down the red carpet, but which lit up thousands of screens and had a profound influence on the film art and audiences of its time.Upcoming restorationsThe upcoming restorations of vintage European genre films include Joseph W Sarno’s “lost film” Young Playthings (1972) starring Christina Lindberg, where Cultpix has uncovered a previously unknown 35mm print, which is being restored by AGFA (The American Genre Film Archive); Japan's Nikkatsu’s legendary, but previously unseen, six “Sueden Poruno” films, shot in Sweden with Swedish actors 1971-1973; two films starring Swedish cult actor Per Oscarsson: Victor Frankenstein (1977) directed by Calvin Floyd, and Vaxdockan (The Doll) (1962) directed by Arne Mattsson – both restored in cooperation with the Swedish Film Institute; and Pigalle - Crossing of Illusions (Pigalle carrefour des illusions) (1973) directed by Pierre Chevalier (restoration in cooperation with Eurociné). More titles to follow.
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