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Cinema Art Speeds Up the Golden Age of Mexican Movie
With Blackmagic Design Cintel Film Restoration
Spanish speaking channels Cine Nostalgia and Cine Estelar program line up features a number of movie genres including comedy, classic western, drama and action from the '50s, '60s and '70s streamed in HD to the US market over cable platforms Direct TV, AT&T, Verizon and Cox. Cinema Arts, a Mexico-based production facility owned and by Vasallo Vision Group, has embarked on a sizeable film restoration project, with the aim of bringing Cine Nostalgia and Cine Estelar's 2000 plus Mexican 35mm Film classics to digital HD with unmatched quality and preservation. "It's not just about restoring a film," states Cinema Arts CEO Carlos Vasallo. "Our goal is to present the highest quality and be faithful to its artistic and historical work as envisioned by the original producers, directors, and screenwriters."



Over the last three years, the Cinema Art team has restored 1000 of the 2000 films stored in its vault, from 35mm to full HD with an aggressive goal of completing the HD migration by end of 2016. The company recently invested in the Blackmagic Cintel Film Scanner, one of the first owned in Mexico, to meet the accelerated time line. "With Thunderbolt support and seamless integration with DaVinci Resolve, the Cintel Film Scanner offers a much faster film restoration workflow than comparable products," explains Carlos.  "Within the first few weeks of owning the system, we were able to successfully restore more than 20 movies. That's more than twice the speed in which we had been restoring the previous films." Carlos notes that this was a common reaction among staff using the system. "This was echoed by the people who attended our Cintel training. Many had experience with other film scanners and they were absolutely astounded with the realtime performance! Once we add the Cintel's 16mm and the audio gates, our results will be even better, exponentially speeding up the project to make our goal."


Luis Gonzalo, director of operations at Cinema Art[SL1], had purposely held off on restoring the remaining 2000 Cinema Art films requiring restoration until the Blackmagic Design Cintel Film Scanner was released to the public in October of 2015, as he had heard that Cintel would significantly accelerate the film restoration process. He had no idea just how much it would impact his everyday tasks. Within just a few weeks time the team had already worked on over 20 different films of both black & white and color,

The Cinema Art intensive film restoration workflow, which is based on the Cintel Film Scanner and DaVinci Resolve Studio, is powered by Thunderbolt technology for realtime performance. First staff physically remove the film's visible damage, then use Cintel connected to a Mac desktop system via Thunderbolt to scan in realtime the film. Cintel's extensive calibration capabilities let staff tweak digital elements to output a DPX file that is equivalent to the original film quality. Luis comments, "The Cintel calibration tools take into account the photo and color quality of the original film and thus we have been able to correct 70 to 80 percent of the film defects due to age as well as wear and tear." Once the scanning has been registered, according to the parameters set up by the production and post teams, files are downloaded and digitalized to a DPX extension and the color grading part of the workflow using DaVinci Resolve begins. Restoration artists clean up residual static sound, making the older footage appear fresh and new, all in one smooth workflow. No re-uploading or transferring.


Cinema Art's film restoration project is setting the company up for a bright future. They plan to expand their distribution network and reach even more viewers, and if they are able to achieve total film restoration for all 2000 films in the vault, they will have a full offering of all Mexican favorites, including films from the Golden Age with actors like Andrés García, Jorge Rivero, Sasha Montenegro, Maribel Guardia and more.

The time gained back will also allow them time to produce more of their own content. With a fully equipped studio, Cinema Arts has plans to do magazine format shows, review old films and conduct interviews with actors and directors. If their quick turnaround so far thanks to Cintel is any suggestion of their future success, it is almost certain that Cine Nostalgia and Cine Estelar will continue to gain popularity and more viewers in the U.S.

For more information, please visit the Cinema Art channels online at http://www.cinenostalgia.tv/ and http://www.cinestelar.tv/.

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