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Bertelsmann presented the digitally restored silent movie “Destiny” (original German title: “Der müde Tod”) by legendary director Fritz Lang as the centerpiece event of the “KINO! 2017” German film festival in New York. Some 200 movie buffs attended the screening at the Sunshine Cinema, a picturesque art house movie theater in Manhattan's East Village. Raphaël Marionneau, one of Europe’s best-known DJs, contributed the music for the silent movie, which is now nearly a century old. Bertelsmann had also invited about 100 guests, including renowned film industry professionals, authors and representatives from the media, to a reception at the Sunshine Cinema before the performance.
“Destiny”, filmed shortly after the First World War, is regarded as a reflection on the traumas of the war. Images as gloomy as they are fantastical tell the story of a young woman who must pass tests to reclaim her lover from Death. This haunting work established Fritz Lang as one of Germany’s leading directors and earned him international acclaim.
As part of the digital restoration, “Destiny” was given back its intertitles, long believed to have been lost, as well as its coloration, modeled on other movies from the time. The restoration work was carried out by the Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Foundation as the rights owner, following research in film archives around the world, and was funded by the international media company Bertelsmann as the main sponsor. After over a year’s work, the digital version of “Destiny” celebrated its world premiere at the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival.
As a company with a long tradition in the film industry, Bertelsmann has been increasingly committed to the preservation of the German cinematic heritage for several years. For instance, it sponsored prominent digitization and restoration projects and the screening of historically significant cinematic works around the world. Its most famous format is the UFA Film Nights silent movie festival in Berlin and Brussels, where in front of a spectacular backdrop, cinematic gems from the silent movie era are screened, accompanied by live music.
The “KINO! 2017” festival featuring a colorful selection from German moviemaking is organized by German Films together with local cultural partners in New York, and runs from March 31 to April 6, 2017.
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 music company BMG, the service provider Arvato, the Bertelsmann Printing Group, the Bertelsmann Education Group and Bertelsmann Investments, an international network of funds. The company has 116,000 employees and generated revenues of €17.0 billion in the 2016 financial year. Bertelsmann stands for creativity and entrepreneurship. This combination promotes first-class media content and innovative service solutions that inspire customers around the world.