Our project on the big screen of Cannes

Four White Shirts (1967), the remarkable, ironic film by Rolands Kalniņš was picked as one of fifteen classic films alongside Bergman, Hitchcock and Kubrick in the Cannes Film Festival’s Classics program of 2018. Rolands Kalniņš, who’s films were banned, excluded and censored for decades, got to whiteness his work being screened in Cannes at age of 96. 


The Head of Cannes Classics, Gérald Duchaussoy, was impressed by the elegant camera work, the whitty language and the great value of this film capturing the life behind the Iron Curtain. 


The film restoration idea was conceived in 2016 and most of the restoration was carried out all throughout 2017. This unique cultural artifact presented many challenges that needed to be addressed before a successful restoration could be carried out. And the first attempt proved how much work still had to be done. Most of the feeling that the film had was lost due to the age and had to be restored back. How does one restore the feeling?  When dealing with something that unique it is a blessing when the original authors are still of sound mind and can participate and help guide the choices that need to be done. As the project progressed more historical artifacts were discovered proving the artistic choices that authors had made more than 50 years ago. Almost every step of the restoration process had to be redone a couple of times throughout the project – as more information was gathered and found out – the more extra work came along.


Multiple film copies were scanned and compared: an internegative was chosen as the main restoration copy as it had the most color-information preserved. Film was cleaned, scanned in 4K and all of the film restoration and color grading was done in 3K. Finished master was made in 2K. Most of the soundtrack in the film was replaced by the original music recording where possible and it took more than a year to complete the color-grading.