'Letter' will go out on disc after PBS airing

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will release Martin Scorsese and Kent Jones’ documentary “A Letter to Elia” on DVD on Nov. 9, one month after the film airs on PBS’ “American Masters” series.

“A Letter to Elia,” which chronicles the life and work of director Elia Kazan, made its world premiere over the weekend at the Venice Film Festival. It also played at Telluride and now makes its way to Toronto. Docu also is an official selection of the New York Film Festival, where it will screen alongside Kazan’s “America, America” on Sept. 27.

The documentary will be included in Fox Home Entertainment’s Elia Kazan Film Collection, featuring 15 of Kazan’s films. Five of the movies have never been released on DVD: “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” “Viva Zapata!,” “Man on a Tightrope,” “Wild River” and “America, America.”

Scorsese, who co-directed the film with Jones, said Kazan was a huge influence.

“It took many years. I asked my old friend and collaborator Kent Jones to work with me, and we spent quite a long time looking at the films, talking about them, looking at the life, the fame, the infamy, and finding the tone, the balance that felt right for this picture. I feel that the finished film speaks to the power of art, in this case the art of Elia Kazan,” Scorsese said.

“A Letter to Elia,” produced by Scorsese and Emma Tillinger Koskoff, was co-financed and exec produced by Stone Douglass and Taylor Materne’s Far Hills Pictures. WME Global assembled financing and brokered the distribution deal to PBS and Fox.

On PBS, the documentary will be accompanied by a short companion doc in which actors and directors talk about Kazan’s influence on their work and on the American film industry.

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