Press Release

Press Release | Gütersloh, 05/27/2015

Bertelsmann Pleased by Award for Caligari Restoration

Bertelsmann-funded project honored as “Best Archive Restoration” at the FOCAL International Awards

© Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Foundation (Murnau Foundation)

The Bertelsmann-funded digital restoration of the 1920 silent movie classic “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” from the holdings of the Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Foundation was named “Best Archive Restoration” at the FOCAL International Awards. Every year, the Federation of Commercial Audiovisual Libraries (FOCAL) honors projects that restore archived movies and film materials in an exemplary manner, integrates them into current productions or makes them available to the public. This year there were 265 entries from 24 countries.

With its comprehensive digital restoration of Robert Wiene’s film “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari,” the Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Foundation and its cooperation partners, along with the international media company Bertelsmann as the main sponsor, have ensured the preservation of one of the world's most important silent movies. Regarded as a milestone of expressionist cinema, “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” continues to inspire filmmakers to this day. Nearly a century after its premiere, the silent movie classic was screened again at the 2014 Berlinale in digital cinema quality (4K). It has since been shown at festivals and movie theaters in numerous countries. Without the digital restoration, the movie from UFA’s inventory would only have been playable at the few theaters that still use analog technology.

By funding the digitization project, Bertelsmann sent a signal to draw attention to the urgently needed digitization of the cinematic heritage. Only 20 percent of German silent movie heritage (1896-1930) has survived to this day; the rest is already considered lost.

NOTE: Bertelsmann has set up a special site featuring extensive background material and footage on the topic (  ).

About Bertelsmann
Bertelsmann is a media, services and education company that operates in about 50 countries around the world. It includes the broadcaster RTL Group, the trade book publisher Penguin Random House, the magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr, the service providers Arvato and Be Printers, the music rights company BMG and the e-learning provider Relias Learning. The company has more than 112,000 employees and generated revenues of €16.7 billion in financial year 2014. Bertelsmann stands for creativity and entrepreneurship. This combination promotes the creation of first-class media content and innovative service solutions that inspire customers around the world.