Cintel Scanner G3 HDR+ Restores Egypt’s Cinema Treasures to Their Former Glory

25 April, 2024

Blackmagic Design today announced that the Egyptian Media Production City (EMPC) is relying on the Cintel Scanner G3 HDR+ for real time scanning and DaVinci Resolve Studio to restore and digitize Egypt’s rich film archive.

The Cairo based EMPC media complex is contracted by the Ministry of Culture which holds the original prints for hundreds of motion pictures and photographic treasures made between 1940 and the late 1990s. In 2018, The Cinematic Restoration Center (CRC) was established to document and digitize the entire collection.

“Cinema is a huge part of Egyptian culture; however, time is running out to preserve that legacy,” begins CRC General Manager, Nada Hossam El Din Farahat. “For decades, celluloid was the principal recording medium, and much of that original negative is now in poor condition and decaying.”

Work began in 2019 to restore and digitize the newsreel archive of the Egyptian Film Magazine captured between 1952 and 2015.

“We have always used Cintel for telecine because we know it delivers the best image quality, but the machine we had was old and standard definition only,” reveals Farahat. “In addition, we could not afford to rely on just the one machine for all of our moving images, pictures and documents.”

Turning to system integrator Systems Design, CRC deployed the Cintel Scanner G3 HDR+ to support the next phase of this ambitious project, which will see more than 300 iconic Egyptian feature films restored.

“Once a reel has been physically inspected and manually repaired, that film neg is cleaned to remove any dirt, fingerprints or dust,” explains Farahat. “The reels are then scanned in real time at 4K resolution using Cintel scanner and captured in DaVinci Resolve Studio where we conduct our color, restoration and mastering work.”

In parallel, the Cintel Audio and KeyKode Reader records high quality audio information from the negative in sync with picture scanning. The precision capstan encoder automatically corrects for wow and flutter, even as the scanner’s speeds change. In addition, KeyKode numbers identify individual film frames, dramatically speeding up post production workflows.

“What makes the Cintel Scanner G3 superior to other scanners is that it is linked to DaVinci Resolve Studio. Information is automatically captured from Cintel and imported into DaVinci, saving us considerable time. Other systems do not offer that level of integration for scanning to final delivery,” notes Farahat.

DaVinci Resolve Studio also features tools for automatic dirt removal, dust busting, deflickering, spot patch repair with smart fill technology, and advanced temporal and spatial noise reduction.

The 300 iconic drama, comedy and musical films currently being restored were produced between 1941 and 1995. “Restoring them all to their former glory will take three years, after which a selection will be screened at film festivals, and some will be given a wider public release so that cinema lovers can enjoy them once more,” concludes Farahat.