HOLLYWOOD—The Apu Trilogy¸ considered the greatest work of Indian filmmaker
Satyajit Ray, was recently the subject of a meticulous 4K restoration by the
Criterion Collection in partnership with The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts
and Sciences, aided by MTI Film’s
industry-leading restoration software DRS® Nova. The newly-restored series,
which includes the films Pather Panchali,
Aparajito and Apur Sansar, will be released by the Criterion Collection for a
theatrical run in May, followed by Blu-ray distribution later this year. 
Originally released between 1955 and 1959, The Apu Trilogy is Ray’s sweeping story
of a boy, Apu, growing up in rural India during the early part of the 20th
century. A milestone in neorealism, the films took top prizes at Cannes, London
and Venice and are credited with establishing the new Indian cinema.

“We are excited to reintroduce the public to The Apu Trilogy,” said Criterion
Collection Technical Director Lee Kline, who oversaw the restoration. “These
films are masterpieces that have not been seen in good condition, quite
possibly, since their initial release.”
The new restorations were produced largely from original
camera negative that was recently discovered after being damaged in a fire in
London. Those film elements first went through physical restoration at Cineteca
Bologna in Italy. The restored film elements were then scanned at 4K and
digitally restored at the Criterion Collection’s facility in New York, a
process that took six months.
“We were able to salvage 50- to 60-percent of the original
camera negative for the first two films, although the fire had caused massive
shrinkage and stabilization problems,” recalled Head Restoration Artist Phoebe
Harmon. “The underlying elements were gorgeous, but there was a huge amount of
work to be done.”
Scanned elements initially went through automated image
processing using Pixel Farm PF Clean and Digital Vision Phoenix. That was
followed by manual restoration by a team of restoration specialists using MTI
Film DRS® Nova. “The MTI software allowed us to address artifacts left behind
by the automated processing,” Harmon explained. “We used it to correct for
severe problems with flicker, dirt, tears, scratches, mold and slices, all of
which were present in all three films.”
MTI Film’s restoration software has been Criterion’s
“workhorse” for digital restoration for more than 20 years. “It is flexible
intuitive and easy-to-use,” Harmon said. “Our operators are comfortable with
the software. Whenever we encounter a difficult problem, it goes to MTI.”
Criterion Technical
Director Lee Kline will make a special presentation on the restoration of The Apu Trilogy on February 25th
at Ohio State University’s Wexner Center for the Arts as part of its Cinema
Revival series.
About MTI Film LLC
Since 1997 MTI Film has provided award winning software
applications to the post-production industry with a focus on technology for
digital film restoration and digital dailies.  With strong ties to our
customers and an in-house services arm providing real-world, real-time
development experience, MTI Film offers the most advanced, efficient and
user-friendly applications on the market.  MTI Film products include
Correct DRS™, Control Dailies and Convey, and introducing the Cortex family – a
simple, powerful and coherent digital workflow solution from pre-production through
For more information visit www.mtifilm.com.
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