FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“What an extraordinary story… a rare combination of film and cultural history.”
-- Leonard Maltin
A Fantastic Accompaniment to Easter’s
Legendary Classic ‘THE TEN COMMANDMENTS’
‘THE LOST CITY OF CECIL B. DEMILLE’
Fascinating Documentary Heralds the Discovery of Long-Buried Sets
from DeMille’s Original 1923 Theatrical Epic
Digital Re-Release Accompanies Announcement of
2020 Final Excavation Effort
Los Angeles, Calif. – <<EASTER – APRIL 2020 >> – As the classic film THE TEN COMMANDMENTS heads back to television for its popular annual Easter Season airing (April 4th, 7 p.m. on ABC), the fascinating documentary film showcasing burial and recovery efforts of the original massive film set created for famed director Cecil B. DeMille’s 1923 version – THE LOST CITY OF CECIL B. DEMILLE - has returned to Digital and DVD. The documentary release comes in celebration of the announcement by California’s Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center that the final excavation to recover the last of the sets that were hidden in the sand almost 100 years ago will begin this Fall, with fundraising currently ongoing to support the effort.
A Hollywood detective story that will thrill any fan of movies and history, THE LOST CITY OF CECIL B. DEMILLE pays tribute to Cecil B. DeMille, one of Hollywood’s most innovative and commercially successful filmmakers, showcasing the ‘making of’ both the original silent version of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS and the 1956 classic remake, while telling the story of the 30+ year quest to unearth the remains of his Egyptian city from the sandy coast of Central California.
The Dunes Center, located in California’s Santa Barbara County, has announced the final excavation to recover additional parts of the set by launching a new dig, timed from October 2020 to April 2021, depending on wildlife conservation and weather considerations. This 2020 final excavation is contingent upon completion of a fund-raising drive currently in progress.
The center depends on community and volunteer support during excavation efforts, temporary dig permits and ensuring the proper curation of artifacts is ensured by art restorers who are contracted to supervise. However, the restoration effort must secure approximately $135,000 to properly complete their goal. “From the start, excavation efforts have been painstaking and fraught with fundraising struggles,” noted Doug Jenzen, Executive Director of the Dunes Center.
For more information about the Dunes Center’s excavation effort, visit dunescenter.org or call 805-343-2455.
After these artifacts are restored, they are housed at the Dunes Center museum. The museum promotes and celebrates appreciation for the region’s natural treasures and unique history through state-of-the-art interactive exhibits. Among items housed at the museum is a perfectly intact 300 pound plaster sphinx head that was previously unearthed from the site.
ABOUT THE DOCUMENTARY
THE LOST CITY OF CECIL B. DEMILLE follows the decades long quest of a group of young filmmakers who first heard rumors of the burial of DeMille’s City of the Pharaoh, a huge set encompassing 20 sphinxes and four 35-ton statues of Ramses, in 1982. Too daunting to be constructed inside a 1920’s-era studio soundstage, DeMille and his production staff found their “faux-Egypt” on the beaches of Santa Barbara County. When they finished shooting, rather than leave the sets to be repurposed by second-rate hacks hoping to steal a little of his thunder, DeMille had the sets buried in the sand, counting on time and coastal elements to eventually destroy them.
Fascinated by this bit of movie lore about “the last of the great sets” and optimistic that much of the set may have survived, the filmmakers set out to arrange for an excavation and to make a documentary. What followed was decades of on-again, off-again excavation efforts, as the project faced seemingly insurmountable funding stumbles and bureaucratic obstacles. The film concurrently interweaves the history of famed director DeMille with fascinating firsthand accounts from dozens of people who were involved in the groundbreaking 1923 production, including studio executives, extras, spectators and the filmmaker’s granddaughter Cecilia DeMille Presley.
A fascinating companion to ‘The Ten Commandments’ showcasing the 30+ year quest to unearth the film’s massive sets, buried on the coast of California almost 100 years ago.
Director: Peter Brosnan
Screenwriter: Peter Brosnan
Producers: Peter Brosnan, Daniel J. Coplan
Executive producer: Francesca Judge Silva
Presented by: Cecelia DeMille Presley
Co-producers: Bruce Cardozo, Richard Eberhardt
Director of photography: Alessandro Gentile
Editor: George Artope
Still Photography: Kelvin Jones
Time Lapse Photography: Michael DeLavallade
Composer: Steve Bauman
Running Time: 88 minutes
Produced by: Lost City Productions
Distributed by: Random Media
About Film Distributor Random Media:
Random Media is a content company that acquires and distributes films on a worldwide basis through movie theatres, digital platforms, cable, satellite and television networks and in conventional brick and mortar retailers. Random Media is known for its commitment to building strong, supportive relationships with its filmmakers. The companies’ growing library includes such acclaimed films as Getting Grace, Killswitch: The Battle for Control of the Internet, Yamasong: March of the Hollows, and The Landing.
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COMPLETE ARTWORK/PHOTOS and PRESS INFO LINK:
DOCUMENTARY/‘The Lost City of Cecil B. DeMille’
OFFICIAL SITE: https://www.lostcitydemille.com/