Cover Acadey Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles

Rolex reaffirms commitment to preserving film heritage with Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

They are a form of escapism, created for entertainment purposes, but there’s no denying that cinema is an influential art form. They touch lives and inspire generations, create jobs and grow economies, and impart knowledge in different ways. Just look at Titanic, which tells the story of two young lovers from different social classes who meet on the ship’s ill-fated maiden voyage.

While the film’s plot was mostly fictional, director James Cameron put a great deal of effort into the historical accuracy of the sets (an almost-to-scale replica of the Titanic was built for the movie) and real-life figures that were featured in the film. The movie became a box-office megahit and spawned a cultural obsession, plus received 11 Oscars including best picture and director as well as best cinematography, costume design and visual effects.

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Illuminating the fascinating world of cinema is the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, destined to be the world’s pre-eminent film museum devoted to the art and science of moviemaking when it opens to the public on September 30. Visitors and film buffs will also be able to see nostalgic movie memorabilia, such as the doors of Rick’s Café Americain in Casablanca or Dorothy’s ruby red shoes from The Wizard of Oz. For decades, Rolex has been linked to the world of cinema, from appearances of its watches in iconic films to the brand’s support for young filmmakers through its mentoring programme.

As a founding supporter of the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Rolex will host a gallery retracing the history of cinema particularly where the brand has played a role, worn by famous actors and directors as a symbol of power and prestige. Which Alec Baldwin’s character in Glengarry Glen Ross was alluding to when he flashed his yellow gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date to communicate his idea of success while delivering one of the greatest movie monologues of all time.

The Swiss watchmaker appreciates storytelling in film and the great amount talent that contributed to making it, from the directors to the technicians, engineers and craftspeople. Sharing similar values of the pursuit of excellence and crafting masterpieces, Rolex became the exclusive watch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and sponsor of the Oscars since 2017. It is also the sponsor of the Academy’s annual Governors Awards that honour life achievement in film.

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Since 2016, the brand has held to the tradition of hosting the Greenroom during the Academy Awards show, an exclusive area for presenters and special guests to relax and mingle before going on stage. This year, the 93rd Oscars was held at the Union Station Los Angeles, a historic landmark and one of the last great train stations in the United States. Here, Rolex created an intimate yet spacious setting underneath the vaulted ceiling of one of the station’s wings, featuring a selection of photographs and emblems of their iconic watches that made movie history. Walls were adorned with fabric replicating the criss-cross motif of Union Station, with a ‘green wall’ of foliage to add a touch of nature.

The brand wholeheartedly supports the transfer of film knowledge to future generations not only through the museum but also the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. Since 2002, the programme has seen young artists being mentored by maestros in film, including well-respected award-winning directors such as James Cameron, Martin Scorcese and Kathryn Bigelow who are also Rolex Testimonees.

As Cameron describes, “There’s a torch of creativity that gets passed down and you’ve got that torch in your hands for a moment. At a certain point you have to pass that torch on, and someone exploding with ideas, passion and things to say that are relevant to their generation will take that torch and run with it.”

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