Mexican cinema classics restored in HD for U.S. Hispanic market

Miami, Aug 21 (EFE).- U.S.-based media and entertaiment company Olympusat Inc. is working with independent film libraries to restore classic Mexican films and bring them to Spanish-speaking TV audiences in the United States.

Olympusat Holdings Inc.'s founder and CEO, Tom Mohler, told Efe the restored films sometimes "are better than when they were screened for the first time" and hailed the "historic significance" of this effort to preserve Mexican culture.

Mohler said this business line was launched two years ago due to the need for restored classics in high definition for the company's Ultra Clasico TV network, which features award-winning movies from the so-called Golden Age of Mexican and Latin American cinema (1930-1980).

He noted that 70 percent of U.S. Hispanics are of Mexican origin and that immigrants from other parts of Latin America have seen many Mexican films over the years due to the importance of that cinema in their home countries.

Olympusat, the leading distributor of Hispanic TV networks in the United States, is following in the footsteps of U.S. billionaire Ted Turner, founder of CNN, who in 1986 purchased MGM/United Artists' vast film library to feed his cable television channels.

The idea is the same but with a focus on Mexican cinema, Mohler said, noting that in the mid-20th century that country produced more films of "great quality" and in higher quantities than the rest of Latin America combined.

But the task of readying the films for television broadcast is a difficult one because Olympusat's technical staff often receives them in extremely poor condition.

The films are sent to the company's post-production centers in Mexico City and West Palm Beach, Florida, where they are digitized and restored frame by frame to eliminate scratches, dust and dirt, correct sound defects and recover the film's original color.

Among various agreements with film libraries, Olympusat reached a deal with Mexican company Movie Mex International to restore films from its 800-movie archive, including titles such as "La Escondidad" (1955), "La Vida No Vale Nada" (1954), "Aqui Esta Tu Enamorado" (1962 and "Camino de Guanajuato" (1955).