(May 16, 2002 – Cannes) – Warner Home Video (the home video division of Warner Bros.) and MK2 jointly announced today that they have entered into an exclusive deal to distribute worldwide newly re-mastered versions of eighteen classic Charlie Chaplin feature films. The state of the art DVDs will include never-before-seen outtakes, backstage glimpses and family home movie footage. The titles in the Charlie Chaplin Collection range from his 1925 silent classic, “The Gold Rush,” to his 1958 feature “A King In New York.” These timeless examples of cinema’s first and favourite comedy genius are being digitally-re-mastered by the film preservation specialists at the world-famous Bologna Cinematheque. The Cannes announcement was made by Warren Lieberfarb, President of Warner Home Video, known as “the Architect of DVD,” and Marin Karmitz, founder and President of MK2. Helping to launch the new venture was Chaplin’s actress daughter Geraldine, who gave her full support: “On behalf of the family, I am personally delighted that my father’s legacy is in the hands of such enthusiasts as MK2 and Warner Bros. We are, and will continue to be, intrinsically involved with the enhancement of the films that he created. By having access to these films on the latest DVD format, the public will be able to experience, at first hand, never-before-seen archive materials, as well as enjoying the films themselves in pristine condition, as my father intended.” As Marin Karmitz explains, “MK2’s objective is to allow the man who is undeniably one of the major artists of the 20th century to regain his position in cinema and to have younger generations rediscover an important body of work which is still very modern today.” The Chaplin family had previously entrusted France’s leading independent production and distribution company with the worldwide distribution rights to these films. Warner Home Video’s global reach and pre-eminence in DVD marketing and technology makes them the ideal distribution partnership. MK2 will produce the editorial content and the DVD masters in Europe. “It is a true honor for Warner Home Video to be able to bring the work of one of cinema’s true geniuses to DVD,” added Warren Lieberfarb. “This new partnership with MK2 reconfirms our commitment to commercial marketing of cinema in the video media, particularly DVD. It also reinforces our objectives to restore and preserve great cinematic works and aids in the education and understanding of cinema.” MK2 will produce individually-tailored half-hour documentaries to accompany each of these eighteen classics. Leading modern day figures in the world of film will present a personal look at Chaplin and his work. A special bonus included in the DVD of “The Great Dictator” will be a 47-minute tribute by the distinguished film historian Kevin Brownlow. Cutting edge DVD technology combined with the artistry of a man whose vision was decades ahead of his time gives movie lovers worldwide this not-to-be-missed opportunity. "The Chaplin Collection" will be launched on DVD in the Spring of 2003 and it is anticipated that its release will be accompanied by cinema retrospectives of Chaplin’s work in many major cities across the world. In France, MK2 plan to re-launch “The Great Dictator” in 200 cinemas on October 16th, 2002 and will release the film on DVD in November 2002. MK2, an independent group covering all aspects of cinema, was launched during 2000, with the MK2 Editions label presenting a programme of international editions from the company’s high-profile catalogue (Truffaut, Chabrol, Lynch, Kieslowski, Kiarostami, Chaplin). MK2 Editions, with the acquisition of new and vintage DVD rights, and with a regular presentation of the MK2 catalogue, is an important part of the group’s development in France and Worldwide. With operations in 78 international territories -- more than the video division of any other studio -- Warner Home Video commands the largest distribution infrastructure in the global video marketplace. Warner Home Video’s film library is the largest of any studio, offering top quality new and vintage titles from the repertoires of Warner Bros. Pictures, Turner Entertainment Company, Castle Rock Entertainment, HBO Home Video, New Line Home Video, BBC, National Geographic, PBS, Scholastic, IMAX, and Saul Zaentz Productions.
# # #