Kinowelt's process of restructuring continues apace with news that Germany's oldest film distributor Jugendfilm will be finally wound up and its new releases and 200-plus title library administered centrally by Kinowelt's theatrical arm Kinowelt Filmverleih.
Founded in 1934 by Willy Wohlrabe, the family concern of Jugendfilm had been a key player in the German distribution scene through its releases of the Asterix animation features and an output deal with James Cameron's Lightstorm. In October 1999, the company was taken over by Jugendfilm and served from October 2000 as the distributor for the back catalogue of 600-odd films held by Kinowelt Filmverleih and Arthaus.
Kinowelt Filmverleih will begin handling the Jugendfilm titles from July 16, with Jugendfilm's office in Berlin closing at the end of the month.
Speculation within the local industry suggests that the integration of Jugendfilm into Kinowelt Filmverleih could be followed with the incorporation of the Kinowelt Group's specialist arthouse theatrical arm Arthaus as well.
Recent moves to consolidate activities included the offloading of Kinowelt's interests in the Brameier sports merchandising outfit and its exit from Progress Filmverleih.