Details have emerged of the shock decision last month to break up Benelux Film Distributors (BFD).
The outfit, formed six years ago, is the theatrical distribution company for Lumiere, Inspire Pictures and Dutch Filmworks. As of January next year, the three companies have now confirmed they will go their own ways.
Last year, BFD was the leading independent distributor in Benelux, with an 11.5% share of the market.
However, insiders are now saying that BFD was a “victim of its own success.” The company simply wasn’t able to keep up with the increasing number of titles from the distributors who formed it.
“BFD was a very efficient instrument for the three partners (but) in the six years, the turnover of Lumiere, Inspire and Dutch Filmworks doubled,” commented Jan De Clercq, co-chairman of Lumiere. “Instead of having a list of 25 to 30 titles (to release), there was a list of 50 titles.”
This meant there was far less flexibility about when films could be released.
The partners insist that the break-up of BFD is amicable. The idea now is that they will release their movies in-house through their own companies. The name “Benelux Film Distributors” will remain but will handle only films coming through Inspire Pictures.
Some of BFD’s staff members are expected to join Lumiere or Dutch Filmworks.
“BFD was a fantastic experience, But due to the exhilarating growth, a split is necessary,” an Inspire spokesperson has commented in a quote on the company’s website.Questions remain over what will happen in Belgium. “That’s not decided,” Jan De Clercq commented. It’s possible that some of joint venture between Inspire and Dutch Filmworks may be kept in place. A decision is expected next month. ENDS