"Russian Ark," Shot in HD, Set for Digital Distribution
by Eugene Hernandez
"Russian Ark," made in HD format by acclaimed director Alexander Sokurov, will be released digitally in select theaters in the United States thanks to a partnership between Wellspring, BMW Films and Microsoft. The movie, to be presented in the Microsoft Windows Media 9 format, was shot using a special hard drive that allowed Sokurov to shoot the movie in one single take.
"The film is a milestone in digital origination -- a genuine work of art that takes full advantage of new technology," said Wellspring President and CEO Al Cattabiani in a prepared statement. "Windows Media 9 Series will show it in all its glory. For Wellspring, this affirms our commitment to bringing world-class cinema to the widest possible audience, using every available tool."
The film has been a success in its U.S. release, earning $1.6 million during its domestic theatrical run. It will screen in the digital format via the Cinema System from Digital Cinema Solutions at Landmark's Dobie Theater in Austin, The Esquire in Cincinnati, The Enzian Theater in Orlando, and Landmark's Chez Artiste in Denver. Wellspring said that 35mm prints of the film will remain active as the film continues to roll-out around the country. It was shot by cinematographer Tilman Buettner with the Sony HDW-F900 camera.
"After the Herculean effort that was invested by the production in achieving the longest-ever continuous shot without tricks or cheating of any kind, it has always seemed a pity to introduce reel breaks in its exhibition," said Wellspring's VP of Theatrical Releasing, Wendy Lidell in a prepared statement. "This is truly the right movie for this new medium."