rotana uses dft’s scanity to restore egyptian classics

October, 2014

Rotana, the Arab World’s largest entertainment company, has entered into an agreement with the Prasad Corporation to restore Egyptian classic films. Egypt has a rich film heritage, dating back to the early 1900s, much of which was in danger of being lost forever.

An initiative to save Egypt’s classic films began in 2004 and was revived and expanded when Rotana became involved in June this year. Rotana owner, Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal announced that he would allocate funds to restore 1,650 Egyptian films, and he commented that the company had brought together the best expertise and the latest technology from around the world in order to preserve them.

President of Rotana’s TV Business Unit, Turki Al Shabanah, commented “this project is of national importance for Egypt, so we are delighted that Rotana is a part of it.”

Tarek Al-Gabali, the head of Rotana Film Library and its technical director explained that after Rotana started acquiring positive and negative 35mm prints of 20th-century Egyptian films for its library, “we had to act very quickly to restore those that were stored in unsuitable conditions. Our target now is to restore more than 1,000 feature films.”

As the key partner in this high-profile project, the Prasad Corporation has brought restoration equipment and experts to Rotana’s facilities at Egyptian Media Production City – including the supply of a dft’s Scanity.

Among the many decayed film lists was the 1962 Egyptian classic production Imraa Fi Dawama (A Woman in a Spiral), directed by Mahmoud Zolfakar. The film was badly affected by “vinegar syndrome,” which meant that it had become extremely fragile and unable to pass through traditional telecine equipment to transfer it to video, because the film’s sprocket holes would immediately break.

dft’s Scanity handled the physical limitations of the film without using the sprocket holes, scanning the film frame by frame and adjusting for focus problems in places where the physical material had warped. After the restoration process, Rotana was able to create a 4K scanned copy that enabled them to create a new negative of the film as well as digital versions for HD broadcast and the Blu-ray market.

Al-Gabali says the National Film Center and other broadcasters are interested in joining the project to have their own content restored using Rotana expertise.

Further information and images:

about dft

dft(Digital Film Technology) has been at the forefront of film scanning technology for over 75 years, supplying the film post production market with a range of high quality, leading edge products and services. With a reputation for quality, dft is head quartered in Germany and has a network of sales, service and support centres worldwide.

dft is a subsidiary of the Prasad Corporation Ltd, India.