October Films Goes Hollywood; Universal To Acquire Majority Interest In Indie Distributor

In an move that has been expected since January, October
has been acquired by a Hollywood studio. Yesterday, Universal
, a division of the Seagram Company, announced its intention to
acquire a majority interest in the indie distributor. Upon approval, the
deal with find October joining the ranks of units such as Miramax, Fox
, and Sony Classics, which are divisions of larger Hollywood
entertainment companies.

Commenting on the deal in a prepared statement, Universal Chairman Casey
Silver said, "This is a great opportunity for us to further diversify
our film portfolio with an established, well-managed and profitable
company. Amir Malin, Bingham Ray and John Schmidt have achieved an
outstanding track record in building this business over the past five
years, forging excellent relationships with important new talent. Their
addition will complement the strong creative talent already in place at
Universal Pictures." In their statement, Malin, Ray and Schmidt said,
"We are tremendously excited to be teaming up with Casey Silver, Chris
McGurk, and the entire group at Universal. This partnership will bring
spectacular growth to October Films in the coming years."

According to the terms of the deal, October will maintain its New York
City office, and acquire, create and market its films. October will
distribute its movies in the domestic theatrical market and handle all
international media, while Universal will handle domestic ancillary
distribution, including home video and television broadcasts.

October Films was formed in 1992 and among the films it has distributed
are: "The War Room", "The Last Seduction", "Ruby In Paradise", "Girls Town", "Secrets
& Lies
", "Breaking The Waves", "Lost Highway". Among the company's
upcoming releases are Matthew Harrison's "Kicked In The Head", and the new
Mike Leigh film, "Career Girls".