The fame of the Festival Lumière de Lyon, which opened with its parterre of film stars on October 9, is no longer to be proven. Until October 17, the festival offers more than 150 films and documentaries in some twenty places in the city. But did you know that the event has been hosting the International Classic Film Market (MIFC) since 2013? The only market of this type in the world, the MIFC aims to restore so-called “heritage” films by bringing together the various players in the sector: publishers, laboratory owners, broadcasters … A niche business where the we “don’t make a lot of money”, but where we find “passionate people who have at heart that the public can continue to see these films in the best possible conditions”, according to Margaret Bodde, Great witness of the 2021 edition and Managing Director of the Film Foundation created by Martin Scorsese.
The International Classic Film Market is an unmissable event and above all essential for the restoration of classic works. To restore an old film, it takes between 40,000 and 400,000 euros. The MIFC was created to support a boom in digital restorations. A phenomenon which is itself explained by the multiplication and digitization of film distribution media. “A few years ago, apart from television and the cinema, there was no other medium for the diffusion of heritage films. Today everything relating to streaming has multiplied the exhibition surfaces of heritage films “, testifies Juliette Rajon, director of the event.
The International Classic Film Market is a success, and actors from this field from all over the world are flocking to it. The Swede Patrick Sychowski, present at the festival, created a platform dedicated to old films. “The Lumière festival is the first market in the world for classic films with 450 professionals present and many countries represented. We needed to come here to offer our viewers films that are at least thirty years old, or even that are silent”, he assures. Thanks to the festival, Vincent Paul-Boncour, co-founder of Carlotta Films, a distributor of heritage films, will be able to restore films by Japanese director and actress Kinuyo Tanaka, a true film star of the 1930s. “It is thanks to this visibility, this notoriety of the MIFC that we were able to convince four large Japanese studios to restore the films, both for their preservation and for their visibility”.
Visibility, the MIFC 2022 will undoubtedly give it to many heritage films. And, who knows, the Lumière Festival next year may offer works that are playing their future at the Market right now …