Award Will Celebrate Two Generations Dedicated to Accessibility and Preservation of Great Films
TFF Co-directors Bill Pence and Tom Luddy announced that acclaimed DVD publisher Criterion Collection
and its sister company, film distributor Janus Films
, have been named as the recipients of the Festival’s 2005 Special Medallion.
Criterion’s William Becker, Peter Becker and
Jonathan Turell will be present to receive the award at the 32nd
Telluride Film Festival, which takes place September 2-5 in Telluride,
“The Special Medallion is designed to recognize
heroes of cinema – an artist, entrepreneur historian, critic, or
organization dedicated to the continuance of film as art. Rarely do you
see the multi-generational passion for these ideals that is exemplified
by the Becker and Turell families, the driving force behind Janus and
Criterion,” commented Pence. “The commitment to accessibility and
preservation of fine film begun by Janus Films has been passed on from
father to son and the result is the incomparable Criterion Collection
Originally founded in 1956, Janus Films was
acquired in 1965 by William Becker and Saul J. Turell. Organizing
numerous U.S film festivals featuring such masterpieces as the Russian
silent BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN, Cocteau’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, and
Kurosawa’s RASHOMON, Janus is widely credited for keeping classic films
alive during the 1960s and 70s. They also became well known for
bringing the works of great directors from around the world to American
audiences - including the works of Truffaut, Antonioni and the early
classics of Ingmar Bergman.
With the initiation of the Criterion Collection in
the 1980’s, Jonathan Turell and Peter Becker have utilized cutting edge
technology to further the philosophy learned from their fathers.
Through laser disc and DVD, Criterion has revolutionized the quality
and availability of film for the home viewer. Continuing to feature
foreign films, established classics, and lesser known
critically-admired movies over more mainstream selections, Criterion’s
efforts to trace the best source materials for classic films and
thorough restorations is admired throughout the industry.
Past recipients of the Telluride Film
Festival Special Medallion include filmmaker-historian Kevin Brownlow,
the French journal Positif, the critics Manny Farber and Stanley
Kauffman, the British television producer Arena and entrepreneur
extraordinaire Ted Turner.