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TLA's Curl buys Optimale

Derek Curl, majority owner of US and UK distributor TLA Releasing, has acquired French distributor Optimale.

Derek Curl, majority owner of US and UK gay, lesbian and international film distributor TLA Releasing, has acquired French distributor Optimale.

The deal, which includes Optimale’s online retail site and catalogue of over 300 films and TV series, was finalised at this week’s Berlin festival.

Ten-year-old Optimale is a leading supplier of gay and lesbian cinema to VOD providers and festivals throughout French-speaking Europe. It also distributes TV series, lesbian and gay programming and art house films from outside companies on DVD. Thierry Willems, co-owner and director of Optimale, will remain with the company as operations advisor.

TLA was formed in the US in 2001. Its recent acquisitions for both the US and the UK, where the company was launched in 2005, include Icelandic teen drama Jitters and German drama Harvest, Siegessaule Audience Award winner at last year’s Berlin festival.

Veteran producer Curl, whose most recent production is Ti West’s The Innkeepers, said that by combining “Optimale’s power as the leading provider of quality genre movies in France through its direct-to-consumer outfit…with TLA Releasing’s global expansion we are poised to make a huge impact with day-and-date, VOD and digital delivery strategies.”

Willems added: “We have always looked up to TLA as a role model. Being able to add our strength and catalogue to TLA’s… will offer Optimale the opportunity to participate in original productions and develop its editorial line to other film genres.”

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