Famous French Films to Get Digital Makeover

Thanks to government initiatives, several films from legendary directors like Jacques Tati, Jacques Demy and Jean Renoir will be restored with digital technology.

PARIS - France’s “7th art” form will be heading into the digital era thanks to a new initiative from state film organization the CNC to revamp copies of legendary titles. The first titles on the agenda set for digital makeovers include Jacques Tati’s Jour de Fete, Mon Oncle and Playtime, Rene Vautier’s Avoir 20 Ans Dans Les Aures, Agnes Varda’s Jacquot de Nantes and Jacques Demy’s Le Joli Mai and Peau d’Ane.

Three short films and Far From Vietnam, a documentary co-directed by Claude Lelouch, Alain Resnais and Jean-Luc Godard will also be restored. A CNC committee headed by Festival de Cannes topper Gilles Jacob will meet again in September to choose the next titles that will be digitally restored.

Meanwhile, thanks to support from new Minister of Culture and Communication Aurelie Filippetti, Gaumont has partnered with French deposits and consignments fund the Caisse des Depots to restore 270 titles with high definition digital technology over the next four years.

Jean Vigo’s L’Atalante, Jean Renoir’s Toni and Henri-Georges Clouzot’s L’Assassin Habite au 21 are among the legendary films selected for restoration. Films from Maurice Pialat, Ingmar Bergman and Michel Deville also made the list.   

The state will invest 10 million Euros ($12.3 million) into the program. “The deal that we signed with Gaumont is exemplary. It allows us to both preserve our cinema heritage and also to honor these works by creating the conditions for the development of a legal digital offer,” the Caisse des Depots’ general director Antoine Gosset-Grainville said.