The Digital Media Group of electronics giant Hitachi has acquired the film library of Iwanami Productions, one of Japan's oldest and largest makers of documentary and educational films, which filed for bankruptcy in 1999.
Hitachi plans to preserve the films and market them under the name Iwanami Library. The library contains 1,223 titles produced by Iwanami plus 2,710 the company made for 500 corporate clients. Also included in the library are 218 photo books published under the Iwanami imprint.
Hitachi plans to transfer some of the films to new 16mm prints and DVD. It will sell them in package form and transmit them via satellite and multimedia networks to schools and other institutional clients, starting in April.
Launched in 1949, Iwanami built a reputation as Japan's leading producer of documentaries and educational films for both television and theatrical release. But although its films won many awards, Iwanami found fewer buyers for its product in recent years, forcing it to file for bankruptcy.