Restoration Agency European Genre Film Foundation Launches at Cannes (EXCLUSIVE)

The European Genre Film Foundation (EGFF), aimed at restoring and raising awareness of classic genre films in Europe and globally, launched at Cannes on Tuesday.

The non-profit organization, headquartered in Stockholm, will work with film libraries, archives, rights holders, academics, film festivals and other institutions. It is modelled on Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation and the American Genre Film Archive (AGFA) in the U.S.

Among the first projects of the EGFF will be an academic study of historic female genre film makers in Europe and raising funds for a 4K film scanner set-up dedicated to digitizing and restoring genre films and related material that is languishing in archives. The EGFF will also be arranging symposiums, workshops and film screenings.

In its next phase the EGFF will begin consultations with European film archives, public institutions and rights holders about developing a plan and workflow for identifying, rescuing, scanning and making films available to a wide audience.

The board of directors for EGFF includes: Rickard Gramfors, CEO, Cultpix AB/Klubb Super 8 AB (Sweden); Lisa Petrucci, CEO, Something Weird Video (U.S.); Kate Egan, senior lecturer, University of Northumbria (U.K.); Mariah Larsson, Institution for Film and Literature, Linné University (Sweden); Gérald Duchaussoy, project manager, International Classic Film Market Lyon, head of Cannes Classics (France); Mikko Aromaa, director, Night Visions, chair, Nordic Genre Invasion (Finland); and Henrik Gouali, administrator social sustainability and collaboration, SLSO (Sweden).

Funding for the EGFF will come from the proceeds of streaming public domain films on the Cultpix streaming platform, which was launched in 2021, and other sources. Cultpix specializes in classic cult and genre films and has 800 films and TV shows with 30-40 more titles being added every month.

EGFF chair and Cultpix co-founder Rickard Gramfors said: “While there has been a growing recognition by film institutes and academics of the importance that historic genre films have played in Europe, this is the first time that there is a dedicated international organization to preserve them for future audiences.”

EGFF board member Kate Egan added: “Genre films have been the launching pad of many famous directors, actors and creatives, who have gone on to be feted in Cannes; as well as touching on controversial topics long before they entered mainstream cinema.”

Restoration titles that Cultpix is currently working on include Joseph W. Sarno’s “Young Playthings” (1972), which is being restored by AGFA; Nikkatsu’s legendary, but previously unseen, six “Sueden Poruno” films, shot in Sweden with Swedish actors 1971-1973; two films starring Swedish cult actor Per Oscarsson: “Victor Frankenstein” (1977) directed by Calvin Floyd, and “The Doll” (1962) directed by Arne Mattsson – both restored in cooperation with the Swedish Film Institute; and “Pigalle – Crossing of Illusions,” directed by Pierre Chevalier – restoration in cooperation with Eurociné.

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