It has emerged during the EFM that Dutch distributor A-Film has withdrawn
from pan-European buying collective, Indie Circle. Henceforth, blue-chip Belgian distributor Cineart will handle Indie Circle projects across all of Benelux.

This move follows on from A-Film's hook-up with French powerhouse Wild Bunch.

Indie Circle's latest acquisition The Escapist, will be represented by Cineart in both Belgium and Holland

Indie Circle's partners include Haut Et Court in France, Lucky Red in Italy, Frenetic in Switzerland and Cineart in Benelux. Had A-Film remained as part of Indie Circle, there may have been conflicts of interest given that Haut Et Court is a competitor of Wild Bunch.

In a related move, earlier this month, Cineart set up its own office in the
Netherlands under Wallie Poll, thereby bringing to an end its own long-standing buying partnership with A-Film. A-Film, in turn, has already set up an
office in Belgium.

'It became interesting for us to cover the whole Benelux on our own,' Cineart's Stephan De Potter commented of the restructuring. He added that the Cineart/A-Film alliance had worked well until A-Film changed its strategy.

'For us, it is really important to have a partner that offers stability and is able to work on mid-term and long-term issues and goals,' commented De Potter. 'That was something starting to lack with A-Film. That is why we decided to be on our own and open that office in the Netherlands.'

As partners, A-Film and Cineart had jointly bought such movies as New
Line's Lord Of The Rings trilogy. The companies share many back catalogue titles but they will no longer be acquiring theatrical titles together.

'The transition is smooth and we are trying to do it in as friendly a way as possible,' said De Potter.

Cineart-Cinelibre, set up by Eliane du Bois, is over 30 years old. Among
its upcoming titles is The Silence Of Lorna, the latest film from the Dardennes brothers and Erick Zonca's Berlinale entry Julia, which is part of its output deal with StudioCanal.