Celebrating its 30thanniversary, voracious Belgian indie distributor Cinelibre-Cineart has beenstacking up on new titles.
Together with Dutchdistributor A-Film, Cinelibre-Cineart has taken Benelux rights to WongKar-Wai's The Lady From Shanghai, Golden Bear-winner U-Carmen,Tsui Hark's Seven Swords (tipped for a prestigious early slot in Venice)and Park Chan-Wook's Sympathy With Lady Vengeance.
During Cannes, the company acquired competition entry Bashing. It alsopre-bought the next, as-yet-untitled film from Takeshi Kitano (on CelluloidDreams' slate) as well as Roberto Benigni's The Tiger And The Snow (soldby Focus.)
Even before last month's Cannes competition had begun, the company hadpre-bought around a dozen of the films in official selection. TitlesCinelibre-Cineart picked up in the run-up to Cannes include Broken Flowers,Don't Come Knocking, The Child, Manderlay, Shanghai Dreams, Free Zone, MerryChristmas and Matchpoint.
"The MG's we pay are part of the financing of the movies. More and more,we buy on script," company boss Eliane Di Bois told ScreenDaily.com.
Cineart recently formed a joint venture with music distributor PIAS to launchnew DVD arm Twin Pics and has begun to buy certain straight-to-DVD titles.
Cinelibre-Cineart is marking its 30th birthday with a series of special events.Last month, it held a swanky party on the Cannes beach front at which the NoSmoking Orchestra (Emir Kusturica's band) performed. Kusturica, an old friendof Du Bois, agreed to play the concert last autumn, long before he was madePresident of the Cannes Jury.
Founded in 1975, Cinelibre/Cineart began life as an underground distributor,handling politically-themed material, often on 16mm prints. Its breakthroughfilm was Barbara Kopple's Harlan County, an unexpected hit in Belgium. Sincethen, it has gone on to handle a huge range of fare: everything from KenLoach's work to Lord Of The Rings and Million Dollar Baby.