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LEADING British Film Restorer, Kevin Brownlow, has warned that silent films are in danger of becoming extinct on mainstream television in Britain.
Speaking at a special event organised by BAFTA Brownlow said that without the backing commercial television used to allocate towards preservation work, it is unlikely that many classics will be able to survive.
Brownlow, Director of Photoplay Productions, said: “If you want to restore films properly as we have done, you need to spend the money. Once it is done it is done forever, and these films should be available on mainstream television for the public at large.”
Brownlow stated that new technologies like DVD and digital television were unlikely to help the situation.
He outlined that in the past commercial television and in particular Channel 4 would have funded these films as they would a new production.
Among the last silent films shown on terrestrial television in 1999 was ‘The Iron Mask’, which was broadcast by Channel 4. (CMcL)
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