German institute grabs rights to 3,500 films<br />

KirchMedia library titles include 'High Noon,' 'Fight Club'

COLOGNE, Germany -- The German Film Institute (DIF), a national cinema archive, has acquired the German-language distribution rights to the massive KirchMedia library of about 3,500 titles.

The DIF has selected 110 titles it will distribute itself, including G.W. Pabst's silent film classic "Der Schatz" (1922), John Ford's Western epic "Rio Grande" (1950) and Michael Hoffman's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (1999).

The library was one of the few big assets left unsold in the wake of KirchMedia's collapse in 2002. It is a cinematic treasure trove with such classics as "It's a Wonderful Life" (1947), "High Noon" (1952) and Sam Peckinpah's "Cross of Iron" (1976) alongside films from the '80s and '90s, including David Fincher's "Fight Club" (1999) and German comedy "Mr. Bluesman" (1992) from Soenke Wortmann.

"Independent of the commercial value of individual productions, (we felt) it necessary to secure the KirchMedia library to preserve this German and international film heritage and make it available for current and future generations," DIF director Claudia Dillmann said.