NEW YORK, NY – Kino Lorber has announced the theatrical expansion of Bill Morrison’s ‘Dawson City: Frozen Time‘, a feature documentary about the true history of a collection of 533 reels of film (representing 372 titles) dating from the 1910s to 1920s, which were lost for over 50 years until being discovered buried in a sub-arctic swimming pool deep in the Yukon Territory, Canada.
Using these permafrost-protected, rare silent films and newsreels – as well as archival footage, interviews and historical photographs – the film tells the unique history of a Canadian gold rush town and how cinema, capitalism and history intersect.
DAWSON CITY: FROZEN TIME opens in Los Angeles, CA (Landmark’s Nuart Theatre), Chicago, IL (Gene Siskel Film Center) and San Diego, CA (Digital Gym) on June 16, 2017 – after its New York premiere at IFC Center on June 9, 2017. Other national dates can be found HERE.
Featuring a mesmerizing score by Sigur Rós collaborator and composer Alex Somers (Captain Fantastic), DAWSON CITY: FROZEN TIME had its world premiere at the 73rd Venice Film Festival (Orizzonti Competitive section) and a North American premiere at 2016 New York Film Festival (Spotlight on Documentary). The film also played at the BFI/London Film Festival and the 2017 Rotterdam International Film Festival, and screened yesterday (April 6, 2017) at the TCM Classic Film Festival in Los Angeles, CA.
Dawson City, located about 173 miles south of the Arctic Circle, is situated at the confluence of the Klondike and Yukon rivers and rests on a bed of permafrost. Historically, the area was an important hunting and fishing camp for a nomadic First Nation tribe known as Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in. The town was settled in 1896 – the same year large-scale cinema projectors were invented – and it became the center of the Klondike Goldrush that brought 100,000 prospectors to the area. The Dawson Amateur Athletic Association (DAAA) opened in 1902 and began showing films and soon, the city became the final stop for a distribution chain that sent prints and newsreels to the Yukon. The films were seldom, if ever, returned.
By the late 1920s, 500,000 feet of film – 500 films – had accumulated in the basement of the local Library, under the care of the Canadian Bank of Commerce. In 1929, Clifford Thomson, bank employee and treasurer of the local hockey association, moved the films to the town’s hockey rink, stacked and covered them with boards and a layer of earth. The now famous Dawson City Collection was uncovered in 1978 when a new recreation center was being built and a bulldozer working its way through a parking lot dug up a horde of film cans.
The films are now housed in the Canadian Archives in Ottawa and at the U.S. Library of Congress, which jointly restored all the titles to 35mm preservation masters.
With a library of 1,600 titles, Kino Lorber Inc. has been a leader in independent art house distribution for over 30 years, releasing over 25 films per year theatrically under its Kino Lorber, Kino Classics, and Alive Mind Cinema banners, with six Academy Award® nominated films in the last eight years, including last year’s nominated documentary FIRE AT SEA, directed by Gianfranco Rosi.
In addition, the company brings over 250 titles each year to the home entertainment market through physical and digital media releases under its five house brands. It also now distributes a growing number of third party labels in all ancillary media and is a direct digital distributor to all major digital platforms including iTunes, Netflix, HULU, Filmstruck, Tribeca Shortlist, Amazon, Vimeo, VHX, Fandor, Mubi and Others.