Masters of Cinema
The Masters of Cinema organization began as a website dedicated to the most well-regarded film directors in the world. Founded by a diverse international group of like-minded film enthusiasts: Jan Bielawski, a mathematician; Doug Cummings, a graphic artist and freelance critic; Trond Trondsen, a Ph.D. of Space Physics and president of Keo Scientific Ltd.; and Nick Wrigley, a musician and filmmaker. The founders of the group began to bring their individual Websites on the film directors Yasujirō Ozu, Andrei Tarkovsky, Carl Theodor Dreyer and Robert Bresson under the heading of Masters of Cinema in 2001 and officially combined them and created the primary Masters of Cinema page in 2003. R. Dixon Smith, a film historian and documentary filmmaker, joined the group at this time. The website was a resource of news, articles, and links about these directors and their works.
The Masters of Cinema Series of DVDs is a project that Masters of Cinema started with Eureka Entertainment Ltd. in January 2004 under the stewardship of Nick Wrigley, capitalising on the scholarship of Masters of Cinema and the influence and reputation it had acquired as a website, along with the resources and experience of Eureka. The model that the series follows was set by The Criterion Collection, which is to say that it is a series of numbered releases intended as definitive editions of the films, usually involving a restoration of the work, a collection of available scholarly material that can be conveniently packaged with the film, and the commissioning of interviews, essays, and/or commentary tracks. Filmmakers such as Guillermo del Toro, Martin Scorsese, Peter Watkins, Luc Moullet, Alex Cox, Claude Lanzmann and Abel Ferrara; scholars such as Tony Rayns, Tag Gallagher, David Bordwell, and Scott Eyman; and critics such as Kent Jones, Phillip Lopate, Emmanuel Burdeau, Dan Sallitt, Adrian Martin, Jonathan Rosenbaum, David Ehrenstein, Bill Krohn, Geoffrey O'Brien, and David Cairns have all created exclusive content for DVDs released by the Masters of Cinema Series which so far includes over 200 films (December 2012).
In late 2008, Masters of Cinema was sold to Eureka Entertainment Ltd. The Masters of Cinema Series is now a wholly owned label of Eureka Entertainment Ltd, London. Since then, the MoC production team have remained in place; following the departure of Nick Wrigley in early 2012, the remainder of the original team continues to produce the releases. The MoC team presently consists of Craig Keller, Jon Robertson, and Andrew Utterson.