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Scorsese funds Varda digitisation

Martin Scorsese’s The Film Foundation is financing the digitisation of all French filmmaker Agnes Varda’s American films, including Lions Love, Mur, murs and Documenteur, her daughter Rosalie Varda has revealed.

Martin Scorsese’s The Film Foundation is financing the digitisation of all French filmmaker Agnes Varda’s American films, including Lions Love, Mur, murs and Documenteur, her daughter Rosalie Varda has revealed.
 
Costume designer Varda runs Paris-based Ciné-Tamaris, a family business set up by her mother and late stepfather Jacques Demy in the 1970s, which today manages the rights to their respective filmographies.
 
“It’s wonderful to have control of these works but also an enormous responsibility.”explained Varda.
 
Varda is in Cannes with Demy’s colourful musical The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. A freshly digitised copy of the film, which won the Palme d’Or in 1964, screened in Cannes Classics on Thursday.
 
“The digital era poses an enormous challenge for us. We need to digitise the catalogue for future generations but at €100,000 a title, it’s a costly business,” says Varda. 
 
She has just spent a year drumming up the finance to digitise all of Demy’s work, ahead of a retrospective at the French Cinematheque in Paris running until August.
 
For The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Ciné-Tamaris secured the backing of the Cannes Film Festival, luxury brands group LVMH and the town of Cherbourg itself. It also raised finance through French crowd-funding site Kiss Kiss Bank Bank.
 
Varda is now kicking off the digitisation of her mother’s work.
 
“Scorsese’s foundation is one of the first sponsors to come forward for all her American films,” says Varda.  
 
Her mother lived periodically between France and the United States in the late 1960s and 70s making Lions Love, set against the backdrop of the Robert Kennedy assassination, and Mur murs, about Los Angeles wall mural, and Documenteur.

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