Miramax—kaput, at least for now. ThinkFilm, long gone. Picturehouse, Warner Independent Pictures, Paramount Vantage all a distant memory. Apparition and Overture—who knows? As the major players in the distribution of independent and foreign films have dropped off the face of the film business, a number of new entities are entering the space this season. Every week, it seems, another never-before-seen logo pops up in movie ads: NeoClassics Films, CFI Releasing, and the aptly titled Cinema Purgatorio—to name a few. With more films in distribution purgatory than ever before, producers and filmmakers are exploring any and all options to get their movies into theaters.
Read my overview in the Voice “After Miramax” for a thumb-nail sketch of some of the new distribs on the scene.
In researching companies for this article, however, one of the most interesting things I discovered had little to do with any one specific company, but more a general skittishness among producers and agencies towards new distribution entities. After the fallout over Consolidated Picture Groups’ reported failure to raise enough money to release “I Love You, Phillip Morris,” it seems film sellers are asking these new entities to put their P&A moneys into escrow accounts to make sure they have the cash. It’s the only way, one insider told me, to make sure they have the dollars they claim to have.