Kino Lorber Inc. – a widely respected distributor of independent art house films – acquired the North American rights to Johannes Holzhausen’s documentary The Great Museum. The film documents the inner workings of the renowned Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna through the daily interactions and tasks of its staff members.
The film won the Caligari Award in the Berlin International Film Festival’s Forum section, which is reserved for “avant garde, experimental works, essays, long-term observations, political reportage and yet-to-be-discovered cinematic landscapes.” It will have its U.S. premiere at the San Francisco International Film Festival (SFFIF) today and an additional screening there on May 1st. Kino Lorber Inc. will continue the film’s festival run before making it available early next year through online and home viewing platforms.
According to SFFIF programmer, Jesse Dubus, Holzhausen filmed the museum staff members at work during the reinstallation and renovation of the famous Kunstkammer galleries, capturing the “daily interpersonal dramas that form the human soul” of the museum, as well as the “sumptuous details of the building and the collection.” The museum indeed has a large and remarkably diverse collection of works, including – but not limited to – ancient Egyptian pieces, sculptures from Greek and Roman antiquity, and paintings of the High Renaissance.
Kino Lorber Inc. CEO Richard Lorber expressed his deep appreciation for the film after acquiring the distribution rights: “To be invited to share the inner life of such a monumental, world-renowned institution makes viewing The Great Museum a truly thrilling and utterly absorbing experience.” Founded in 2009, Kino Lorber Inc. releases more than 25 films a year through its various labels, including Kino Lorber, Kino Classics, and Alive Mind Cinema. Some of its most recent releases include A Touch of Sin, Computer Chess, and The Trials of Mohammed Ali.
Though Holzhausen’s documentaries are relatively unknown in the states, The Great Museum has recently attracted significant attention and may help establish a new group of followers of his work.
Check out the laconic teaser trailer below.