American Express & The Film Foundation Launch "Preservation Screening Program" at the Calgary International Film Festival



    CALGARY, Sept. 13 /CNW/ - American Express(R) Canada and The Film
Foundation are pleased to announce the launch of the Preservation Screening
Program at the 2007 Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF) with a special
presentation of "In Glorious Technicolor" featuring exclusive screenings of
the restored classic films BECKY SHARP and THE BAREFOOT CONTESSA. American
Express is the presenting sponsor of the Calgary International Film Festival
which takes place September 21-30, 2007.
    The Preservation Screening Program, which was created by American Express
and The Film Foundation (founded in 1990 by Martin Scorsese), will be kicking
off this unique program at CIFF in an effort to provide public access to
restored motion pictures, so that film audiences can enjoy these films as they
were meant to be seen...on the big screen. "Through this new program, today's
moviegoers are connecting with film art and culture of the past, developing an
appreciation for our shared cinematic history and understanding the importance
of film preservation," said Margaret Bodde, Executive Director of The Film
Foundation. "American Express should be commended for their commitment to film
preservation and for creating this opportunity for the public to see these
motion picture treasures."
    "American Express is proud to partner with The Film Foundation to
establish a public access program of screenings of preserved films, and we're
delighted to introduce this program at the Calgary International Film
Festival," said Paul Rogers, Director, Establishment Services, American
Express Canada. "Historic preservation has long been a hallmark of our
company's involvement in the community, and reflects our recognition of the
importance of cultural sites, monuments, and now film."
    The Preservation Screening Program will present "In Glorious Technicolor"
at CIFF which includes two historic films that were restored with funding from
The Film Foundation. Calgary audiences will be the first to benefit from this
program with a screening of the first feature-length movie to be shot entirely
in three-strip Technicolor, BECKY SHARP (1935, d. Rouben Mamoulian), as well
as THE BAREFOOT CONTESSA (1954, d. Joseph L. Mankiewicz) starring Ava Gardner
and Humphrey Bogart, which was photographed in the original three-strip
Technicolor process by the great British cinematographer Jack Cardiff.
    "The Film Foundation and American Express share CIFF's commitment to
building an institutionalized legacy for film and film related events for
Calgarians," explained CIFF Executive Director Jacqueline Dupuis. "We are
thrilled that they are sharing this rare opportunity to view these fully
restored Technicolor films with the Calgary community."
    The Preservation Screening Program will be officially unveiled at a
sneak-preview private screening of BECKY SHARP at the 2007 CIFF launch party
at the Plaza Theatre on Thursday, September 13, 2007.
    Both films will be screened for the public during the 2007 Festival at
Calgary's historic Plaza Theatre. BECKY SHARP will be presented on Sunday,
September 23 at 7:30pm and THE BAREFOOT CONTESSA on Saturday, September 29 at
7:30pm.
    The complete 2007 CIFF line-up, as well as the sale of tickets and
passes, is available online at www.calgaryfilm.com. CIFF's Souvenir Program
Guide is on sale at participating Starbuck's locations and the CIFF Box Office
located at Eau Claire Market.

    About American Express

    American Express in Canada operates as Amex Canada Inc. and Amex Bank of
Canada. Both are wholly owned subsidiaries of the New York based American
Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc., the largest operating unit of
the American Express Company. Amex Canada Inc. operates the Business Travel,
Travel Services Network and Travellers Cheques divisions in Canada. Amex Bank
of Canada is the issuer of American Express Cards in Canada. American Express
opened its first offices in Toronto and Hamilton in 1853 and now employs more
than 3,700 Canadians coast-to-coast.

    About The Film Foundation

    The Film Foundation is the leading non-profit organization dedicated to
film preservation in the United States. Through substantial annual funding to
the nation's film archives, the foundation works to preserve and restore a
broad range of films including studio and independent features, avant-garde
works, documentaries, newsreels, home movies, and films from the silent era.
The cultural institutions supported by The Film Foundation provide the U.S.
and international communities with vital access to our collective film
treasures.
    The foundation also creates innovative educational programs, national
campaigns, and public events that promote greater awareness for film
protection and preservation. At the cornerstone of these efforts is The Story
of Movies project, the first-ever integrated interdisciplinary curriculum that
teaches young people about the cultural, artistic, and historical significance
of film. The program enables students to better understand and interpret the
language of film and visual images.
    The Film Foundation is a non-profit 501(c) 3 organization dedicated to
protecting and preserving our cinematic heritage. It was established in 1990
by Martin Scorsese and a distinguished group of filmmakers--Woody Allen,
Robert Altman, Francis Ford Coppola, Clint Eastwood, Stanley Kubrick, George
Lucas, Sydney Pollack, Robert Redford, and Steven Spielberg. Recently, Paul
Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson, Curtis Hanson, Peter Jackson, Ang Lee, and
Alexander Payne joined these prominent filmmakers on the foundation's Board of
Directors. The Film Foundation is also aligned with the Directors Guild of
America whose President and Secretary-Treasurer serve on the foundation's
Board.
    For more information, please contact 323-436-5060 (Los Angeles) and
212-258-0860 (New York) or visit www.film-foundation.org.

    About CIFF

    Founded in 1998, the Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF) is a
charitable, not-for-profit, cultural organization based in Alberta, Canada. 
CIFF exists to entertain and enlighten audiences through the experience of
film, showcasing the best-of-the-best in International cinema in a world class
forum. Building a legacy for the filmic art form for Calgarians and
cinema-goers around the globe is a primary focus of the festival. CIFF is held
annually at the end of September, screening over 250 films and hosting several
gala events, awards, and special presentations. For more information visit
www.calgaryfilm.com


    NOTE TO EDITOR
    --------------

    "In Glorious Technicolor"

    In 1932, Technicolor unveiled the first ever three-color camera and
process. Prior to this breakthrough, color systems recorded only two hues -
red and green. With this "three-strip" process, audiences were finally able to
see the full spectrum of color on screen, which resulted in richly saturated,
spectacularly beautiful films. The art of cinema was launched to a whole new
level, and offered filmmakers a new and exciting means of expression.
    The three-strip Technicolor process utilized a custom-made camera which
ran three separate strips of black and white film at the same time. Light
passing through the lens was broken down into magenta and green light by a
beam splitter, and each strip of film was exposed to a different colored
filter - red, blue and, green, which produced a black and white record of each
color. The green version was recorded on one film strip, and then the magenta
light was further broken down by two bi-pack strips, one sensitized to red and
the other to blue. The film was then optically printed using a dye-transfer
process in cyan, magenta and yellow, a process which accurately reproduced the
full color spectrum.

    BECKY SHARP (1935, d. Rouben Mamoulian)

    The first feature-length movie to be shot entirely in three-strip
Technicolor, BECKY SHARP was based on William Makepeace Thackeray's
oft-adapted novel "Vanity Fair". In the episodic fashion of 19th-century
serial fiction, the film follows Becky's steady climb up the social ladder -
from graduation at a snobbish boarding school to an advantageous marriage and
ascent to continental aristocracy. Her world is shaken by the Napoleonic wars,
and her reputation ruined by her jealous husband, but Becky is nothing if not
a survivor, and she ultimately lands on her feet. Released in June of 1935 by
Pioneer Pictures Corporation and RKO Radio Pictures, the film earned Miriam
Hopkins an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of the unrelenting Becky. The
film effectively paved the way for the increased use of color that would
change the visual scope of cinema forever. UCLA Film & Television Archive
began restoring the full-length version of this film in the early 1980s and,
with funding from The Film Foundation, was able to complete the restoration of
the film with a new digital soundtrack.

    THE BAREFOOT CONTESSA (1954, d. Joseph L. Mankiewicz)

    Released in September of 1954 by Figaro, Inc. and United Artists, THE
BAREFOOT CONTESSA follows the meteoric rise of Spanish dancer Maria Vargas,
played by the captivating Ava Gardner. Her story is narrated by the three men
who knew her best, beginning with the movie director who discovered her,
played by Humphrey Bogart; Edmond O'Brien as the press agent who guided
Maria's progress through café society (O'Brien won a Best Supporting Actor
Oscar for his performance); and finally the Italian count, played by Rossano
Brazzi, who by marrying Maria made her a contessa. The film was photographed
in the original three-strip Technicolor process by the great British
cinematographer Jack Cardiff. With the cooperation of MGM Studios, UCLA Film &
Television Archive preserved this film from the three original black & white
Technicolor picture negatives along with the original Perspecta Sound
multi-channel track including both the European and English dialogue tracks.
Funding was provided by The Film Foundation and Robert B. Sturm.





For further information:

For further information: Grace Kim, Public Affairs & Communications,
American Express Canada, (905) 474-8792, grace.j.kim@aexp.com; Carolyn
Luhning, Publicist, Calgary International Film Festival, (403) 619-3936,
Luhning@shaw.ca

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