Andi Engel, founder of UK distribution company Artificial Eye, died in Lubeck, Germany on Dec 26.

Engel was born in Berlin in 1942. He and wife Pam Engel set up Artificial Eye in London in the mid-1970s and the company became the UK's leading distributor of arthouse and foreign-language films. Act Entertainment Group and Knatchbull Communications Group recently acquired Artificial Eye - including its 200-title library and two London cinemas.

The company's recent box-office hits included Jacques Audiard's The Beat My Heart Skipped and Michael Haneke's Hidden. The company has released works by arthouse legends including Robert Bresson, Claude Chabrol, The Dardenne brothers, Eric Rohmer, Krzysztof Kiewslowski, Andrei Tarkovsky and Alexander Sokurov.

Engel was also a film critic and directed 1989's Melancholia.

Pam Engel said that a memorial for Andi will be held in London in March 2007.