Miramax acquires film history documentaries

Miramax Films confirmed Thursday that it has acquired North American distribution rights to the documentary series “100 Years of Cinema,” which will feature such directors as Martin Scorsese, Stephen Frears and George Miller interpreting the movies of their homelands.

Produced by Colin MacCabe and Bob Last of the British Film Institute, “100 Years of Cinema” was conceived by New York’s Museum of Modern Art for England’s Channel 4.

The deal was negotiated among Miramax senior veepee of acquisitions Tony Safford, MacCabe and Last.

Delivery of the segments will roll in over the next 12 months. Miramax contemplates theatrical exhibition of particular titles in the series, including the Scorsese, Frears and Miller segments.

“There’s not a huge market for it, but there’s a pride factor for the company ,” said Safford.

“We thought it was a great idea to have directors all over the world defining and examining their national cinemas from an auteur’s point of view, as opposed to a generic or academic perspective. It’s like buying a beautiful set of books.”

Scorsese will direct the segment on the American cinema, while Frears will direct the seg on Great Britain and Miller does Australia.

Other directors committed to the project are Bernardo Bertolucci (Italy), Nagisa Oshima (Japan), Shu Kei (China, Taiwan and Hong Kong), Nelson Periera de Santos (Latin America), Edgar Reitz (Germany), Krzysztof Kieslowski (Poland) and Anne-Marie Mieveille and Jean-Luc Godard (France).

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