New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Juno Films has licensed the exclusive North American rights to the British Film Institute
(BFI)'s 2K restoration of director Franz Osten's epic black and white drama, Shiraz: A Romance of India. Based on the romance between 17th-century Mughal ruler Shah Jahan and his queen, this epic silent film is the ravishing, romantic tale behind the creation of one of the world's most iconic structures: the Taj Mahal.
Shot entirely on location in India, it features lavish costumes and gorgeous settings - all the more impressive in this meticulous new digital restoration by the conservation team at the BFI National
Archive which features a specially commissioned score by the Grammy Award-winning Anoushka Shankar. Produced by and starring Indian film legend Himansu Rai, the film is performed by an all-Indian cast, featuring Rai as humble potter Shiraz, who follows his childhood sweetheart Selima (Enakshi Rama Rau) when she's sold by slave traders to the future emperor (Charu Roy).
The film will premiere in the US at the Metrograph Theater in January 2019 with a DVD and Blu-ray release to follow in May on the new Juno Selects home video label distributed in partnership with MVD. Additional home video titles to be released on the new label include Peter
Sellers' debut feature film, Pennies from Heaven
and his short film, Let's Go Crazy.
The deal was negotiated between Elizabeth
Sheldon, Juno's CEO and co-founder, and the BFI's Violette Martin. "It is an honor to work with the BFI on the release of Shiraz: A Romance of India. It is a timeless tale of devotion that left humankind with a monument to the inspiration and power of true love, the Taj Majal," says Sheldon, "and the new score by the Grammy-award winning Anoushka Shankar seals it as a contemporary masterpiece."
"The restoration of Shiraz was the culmination of thousands of hours of painstaking conservation work by the BFI National
Archive to transform this silent classic, thereby ensuring its safe preservation for future generations. The BFI therefore is very happy to see Shiraz in the highly skilled hands of Juno Films and Elizabeth
Sheldon for its North American distribution, as well as to have the Metrograph Theater on board for the opening week in New York. We look forward to further collaborations with Juno Films around our classic film collection." commented the BFI's Violette Martin."
"I'm excited to be teaming up once again with Elizabeth
Sheldon and her new company Juno Films for the release of the beautifully restored classic 1928 silent film Shiraz," said Eric Wilkinson, Director
of Home Video Sales and Acquisitions for MVD Entertainment Group. "Ms. Sheldon and I have had many successes in the past during our time together at Kino Lorber and it just made perfect sense to continue that partnership by pairing Juno Films and MVD. We're excited to bring this wonderful movie to North American audiences and collectors for the first time."
About JUNO FILMS
Juno Films is a boutique distributor specializing in the release of cinematic films that transcend time to bring new voices and new stories to audiences around the world. Recent releases include Cielo, Constructing Albert and God Knows Where I Am.
The BFI is the lead body for film in the UK with the ambition to create a flourishing film environment in which innovation, opportunity and creativity can thrive by connecting audiences to the widest choice of British and World cinema and also preserving and restoring the most significant film collection in the world for today and future generations . The BFI Champions emerging and world class filmmakers in the UK - investing in creative, distinctive and entertaining work.The BFI is a Government arm's-length body and distributor of Lottery funds for film. The BFI serves a public role which covers the cultural, creative and economic aspects of film in the UK. It delivers this role as the UK-wide organisation for film, a charity core funded by Government by providing Lottery and Government funds for film across the UK and by working with partners to advance the position of film in the UK. Founded in 1933, the BFI is a registered charity governed by Royal Charter. The BFI Board of Governors is chaired by Josh Berger CBE.
About THE BFI NATIONAL ARCHIVE
The BFI National
Archive was founded in 1935 and has grown to become the one of the largest and most important collections of film and television in the world with over 180,000 films and 750,000 television programmes. For over 80 years the BFI has been an international leader in film preservation and guardian of Britain's unparalleled film and TV heritage. The BFI is an innovator in presenting films to audiences in new and dynamic ways, from cinemas to film festivals, outdoor events to online video-on-demand. At the heart of all its activities is the BFI's central aim to ensure that everyone in the UK has access to the widest possible range of film and their own film heritage.
That heritage includes all time great British directors Alfred Hitchcock, David
Lean and Powell and Pressburger; and the rich vein of documentary filmmaking, in which Britain led the world, including the lyrical work of Humphrey
Jennings. The archive also boasts a significant collection of filmmakers' papers as well as extensive stills, posters and production and costume designs along with original scripts, press books and related ephemera.
Expert teams undertake the time-consuming and complex task of restoring films at the BFI John Paul Getty Jr Conservation Centre in Hertfordshire. The BFI's most precious film materials are kept in optimum conditions in the world-leading Master Film Store in Warwickshire.
Further details: www.bfi.org.uk
About MVD ENTERTAINMENT GROUP
MVD Entertainment Group is a full service music and movie distribution firm, exclusively representing thousands of audio and visual products for DVD, Bluray, CD, vinyl, and digital rights, worldwide. MVD also exclusively distributes a growing line of merchandise including limited edition collectibles, tee shirts, and more. Serving artists and audiences, the driving principle at MVD, allows for a wide spectrum of opportunities and change in this ever evolving industry.