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Cinema Rediscovered - Great films back on big screens

Posted on Wed 27 Apr 2016
David Bowie in Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence - part of Cinema Rediscovered

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We are delighted to announce an open call for our 2017 Residencies. Here at Watershed we are passionate about supporting brilliant people working at the intersection of culture, creativity and technology, and our residency programme is built on these solid foundations.

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Cinema Rediscovered returns to Watershed for the second year, bringing the finest digital restorations, some contemporary classics and film print rarities and putting them back where they belong, on the big screen.

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Watershed and partners Independent Cinema Office (ICO), South West Silents and 20th Century Flicks invite you to join in the inaugural Cinema Rediscovered (Thu 28 - Sun 31 July 2016), a brand new major international archive film event taking place in Bristol and the surrounding region.

Taking inspiration from the pioneering Il Cinema Ritrovato festival in Bologna, Italy, Cinema Rediscovered will celebrate cinema-going as an event, giving audiences an opportunity to discover - or indeed re-discover - new digital restorations, film print rarities of early cinema, and contemporary classics on the big screen in cinemas including Watershed and Curzon Cinema & Arts (Clevedon), one of the oldest continuously-running cinemas in the UK. The South West may not have Bologna's spectacular Piazza Maggiore or balmy weather, but we share a passion for great cinema, a forward-thinking approach to the history of film, and a taste for good local gastronomy.

Mark Cosgrove, Watershed's Cinema Curator said:

"Audiences have responded so positively to seeing classic films back on the cinema screen at Watershed that I thought it was about time that we had a festival dedicated to the history, preservation and presentation of this extraordinary art form."

Il Cinema Ritrovato's Director Gianluca Farinelli comments:

"We're delighted to hear about this new British offspring of Il Cinema Ritrovato, on our 30th anniversary. We're particularly happy this is happening in Bristol, a city which already has a strong reputation of presenting the history of film."

Programme highlights include the world premiere of the new restoration of British historic drama The Lion in Winter (1968) courtesy of StudioCanal ahead of its release later this year and a special presentation of the 4K restoration of Japanese auteur Nagisa Ôshima's BAFTA-winning English language debut Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983) starring David Bowie in one of his finest acting roles.

The Lion in Winter forms the centerpiece of a tribute to the late cinematographer Douglas Slocombe running throughout the weekend. The screenings will be introduced by BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking and Sound of Cinema presenter Matthew Sweet, who comments:

"Earlier this year, cinema lost the world’s greatest Cinematographer, Douglas Slocombe, whose career spanned over 45 years, shooting some 80 films with a whole host of directors from Ken Russell to Steven Spielberg. Cinema Rediscovered is giving us an excellent opportunity to celebrate his work!"

Film restoration and preservation is a great challenge as highlighted in the BFI’s recent Film is Fragile campaign. As part of a World Cinema Perspectives strand, we will present work from and about film archives across the globe including Pietra Brettkelly’s recent documentary A Flickering Truth (2015), which follows a group of dedicated Afghan cinephiles who struggle to protect and restore 8,000 hours of film.

We're also delighted to welcome guests including a representative from Cineteca di Bologna to share insights into the World Cinema Project founded by Martin Scorsese to preserve and restore neglected films from around the world.

We partner with Autograph ABP for a series of Black Atlantic Cinema Club screenings and discussions celebrating unseen contemporary films and archive classics including writer/curator Karen Alexander presenting Christopher Harris' dreamlike cine-poem on his hometown, St. Louis, still/here (2000).

Whether you’re a seasoned cinephile or new to cinema, there'll be something you can get involved in - from family friendly screenings and hands-on kids workshops to a month long retrospective of influential Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky to experimental films exploring the Aesthetics of Cinema. If you want to immerse yourself in a unique history of cinema then you can watch the complete fifteen-hours of Mark Cousins' seminal The Story of Film: An Odyssey screening over multiple days in an informal setting.

For cinema professionals who work with, or want to begin working with, archive film, look out for the Independent Cinema Office’s Archive Screening Day 2016 at Watershed on Thu 28 July. This one-day event will include exclusive previews plus the launch of the ICO's forthcoming touring programme of BFI’s Britain on Film restorations, keynote addresses and workshops from archivists plus case studies from cinemas with successful archive strands.

Catharine Des Forges, Director of the Independent Cinema Office, said:

"Showing archive film is a great opportunity for cinemas to share in their communities. There’s a real appetite for this material in cinemas, but more needs to be done to help understand how they can show this work regularly and market it effectively. Our tour of Britain on Film with the BFI later this year is going to be a great opportunity for a national event around our shared history."

Please check back here for further updates - if you want to be the first to know when the programme is announced make sure you register on our Coming Soon page.

With the support of Film Hub South West & West Midlands, part of the BFI Film Audience Network, awarding funds from the National Lottery.