Six European distributors have teamed up to form a buying alliance, that is the re-working of a similar deal announced this time last year.
The companies involved include pure distributors Switzerland's Frenetic, Spain's Alta Films and Cinelibre-Cineart and producer-distributors Haut Et Court from France, Fu Works-A-Films from The Netherlands and EyeScreen-Lucky Red of Italy.
The idea is to acquire multi-territory rights in a more efficient manner, either by buying European territories en bloc or to invest in pictures at production stage. In either case the group is likely to need to dispose of rights in territories that they cannot handle or prefer not to distribute themselves.
In the original configuration of the deal, announced this time last year, Celluloid Dreams, the Paris-based outfit headed by Hengameh Panahi, was to have been acquired. Since then Celluloid has had second thoughts, but the buyers' economic logic remains. The six companies are now considering either buying another specialist seller or setting up their own sales and finance division. This would handle project investment and also raise institutional capital. Tentatively named decircle.com, this could also be based in Paris, where the alliance members were to meet last week to discuss Mifed strategy and potential film acquisitions.
The original constellation also involved Golem Films of Spain and Italy's Bim, but like Celluloid they have also dropped out.