Gaumont to restore, digitize 270 pix

Move is backed by the French gov't

PARIS — Gaul’s Gaumont is set to restore and digitize 270 classic films in high-resolution.

The first 25 films include cult pics, Maurice Pialat’s Under the Sun of Satan,” Henri-Georges Clouzot’s “The Murderer Lives at Number 21,” Ingmar Bergman’s “Fanny and Alexander,” Jean Vigo’s “L’Atalante” and Max Ophuls’ “The Earrings of Madame De.”

The government will invest €10 million ($12.2 million) in the restoration in exchange for a revenue share from the films over the next 15 years.

The pact is part of the government’s Investissement d’Avenir (Future’s Investment) created by former president Nicolas Sarkozy. It has a budget of $122 million to digitize the libraries of select French studios, which could include StudioCanal, EuropaCorp and/or SND, according to French reports.

“This agreement signed with Gaumont aims at preserving and promoting French film heritage on all distribution platforms — theatrical, television and VOD — to boast our legal offer,” said Antoine Gosset-Grainville, managing director of government-owned bank Caisse des Depots.

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