The 401st Blow :: Thoughts On Media

Don Krim – 1945-2011

Posted in Distribution by Noah Harlan on May 24, 2011

Don Krim: 1945-2011

This past Friday the film community lost a legend. Don Krim was the president of Kino Films for the last 33 years and in that role he had an immeasurable impact on the film community both within the United States and beyond. He brought works of iconic filmmakers like Wong Kar-Wai, Michael Henneke, and Amos Gitai to American audiences and he passionately believed in the importance of cinema history. He oversaw the remastering and re-releasing of iconic works like The Cabinet of Dr. CaligariMetropolis, and Potemkin – the last two of which are available in the US on Blu-Ray courtesy of Don. Kino also released seminal collections of classic works including those of Buster Keaton, Douglas Fairbanks, and Ingmar Bergman. In addition to the classic and foreign works, Kino recently released on DVD important American indies like Kelly Reichardt’s Old Joy and Lance Hammer’s Ballast.

Last wednesday Don sent out an email:

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As of Friday, May 13th, I am withdrawing from active participation in the film industry due to health reasons.

It has been a terrific and productive 30 years, first at Kino International and during the last 18 months at the newly formed Kino Lorber.  I am confident that what we have started with Kino Lorber has not only brought into being a respected, medium-sized distribution company – a whole greater than the sum of its parts, as the expression goes – but an enterprise with considerable potential to assume a still broader role in the acquisition and release of important classic and international cinema in North America.

I am sorry that I will not be able to continue to participate, but I will certainly be watching and listening with great enthusiasm.  I extend my deeply felt thanks for your friendship and for our many shared experiences.  These experiences brought us close together and resulted, ultimately, in a large measure of success, success in which we can all take pride.

As we face the future, I wish each of you all and only the best.

Thank you again.

Don

Two days later Don passed away. If ever there was a person who lived great cinema, Don was it.

Among the films that Don released was two by my filmmaking partner, Raphael Nadjari. Our Cannes Competition feature Tehilim in 2007 and the two-part documentary A History of Israeli Cinema in 2009. In 2009, Raphael took the above photo of Don in the Kino offices.

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