While many cinephiles lament the state of home video here in the U.S., things still bode well for obtaining a wealth of content on both Blu-Ray and DVD. From art house, to cult films,classics and world cinema, a variety of distributors have managed to inject life into the dying physical medium. When Arrow Video had launched a campaign to begin releasing their films in the U.S., film lovers were more than enthusiastic about the endeavor and the group managed to obtain the funding fairly quickly through their Indiegogo campaign. Now, they’re launching a new initiative this year with Arrow Academy. More along the lines of a Criterion Collection or the Cohen Film Collection, the Arrow Academy series is now launching in the U.S. this March with a variety of titles that are sure to please film aficionados that collect physical media.
While some may think that Arrow Films is just another company trying to infiltrate this market and creating oversaturation in the home video realm, this current endeavor is a genuine leap forward. Arrow Video has made offered a variety of content in the past year, offering things like Creepshow 2, to the obscure Outlaw: Gangster VIP series, but their extension of films for Arrow Academy offer films that have either been released on DVD many years ago, or have never been released in the U.S. at all. There are five films listed for March and another three set for April that make up the roll out of this new initiative. Some of the films will have exclusives even, with their first release of Giuseppe Tornatorre’s Cinema Paradiso having an exclusive pressing for Barnes and Noble.
They recently announced a sizzle reel, to showcase what’s in store for the label, as well as all of the upcoming releases and presentations.
Arrow Video has been working with MVD Entertainment Group to distribute their products throughout the U.S. and now with Arrow Academy being added to the group, they only seek to extend that relationship even further. The goal of the label, is to offer premier restorations on films and to present the most definitive version of a film in HD. All of the films are either restored from a 2k or 4k negative, to ensure the best looking picture possible, as well as first pressing materials such as booklets and slipcases, never to be replicated for future pressings. Where the Arrow Video label has made it a point to offer a plethora of content in the cult cinema realm, Arrow Academy offers releases within the Independent, Art House and World Cinema canon of films that very much distance it from the existing label that has made them a favorite amongst home media collectors.
Again, while there are already companies that are already presenting brilliant works of cinema from around the globe, time will tell whether this extension of Arrow Video will be worthwhile for them in the U.S. With the fact that only one of the films, Cinema Paradiso, being released here before and all of the other offerings, such as The Creeping Garden, Story of Sin and Ludwig never having home video releases on Blu-Ray or DVD prior to these, it’s safe to say that people who are already fans of the label might find it in their hearts to obtain these films for their own collection.
Ludwg and Property are the first two films offered from Arrow Academy and they’ll be released on March 7th, 2017.