Arguably the only sellers' market left in Europe, the competitive UK distribution sector is heating up further as fresh companies emerge, fuelled by UK tax funding.
First amongst the new entrants is ex-Metrodome distribution chief Rupert Preston, who this week confirmed a deal for Nicolas Winding Refn's English-language debut Fear X with Moviehouse Entertainment, the UK-based international sales agent run by Mark Vennis and Gary Phillips.
Preston, who is also producing the film, adds the John Turturro and Deborah Unger thriller to a slate of films he has been assembling at leading tax financier Matrix Film Finance.
Preston has not finalised his distribution plans, although one scenario would see the films go out under a separate banner run by Preston with backing from Matrix.
Preston's re-emergence on the UK distribution scene comes as busy production outfit Spice Factory is hatching plans to launch a distribution venture early next year. The production company has been pumping out films funded by UK tax breaks and recently launched its own fund, Movision. The Brighton-based operation has a slate of films with international sales company Arclight Films.
UK tax-based financier Future Filmgroup previously had a partnership with Preston during his Metrodome days, whereby the financier acquired UK rights and Metrodome handled physical distribution and marketing.