After months of speculation about its future, German independent distributor Ottfilm has filed for insolvency, with the German press quoting managing director Christoph Ott as saying that the insolvency had been triggered by a "breach of contract on the part of investors". Business at the Berlin-based outfit will nevertheless continue for the time being while an insolvency administrator is appointed.
In recent months, Ottfilm had reduced its staff to a bare minimum and concentrated only on the marketing side of such releases as Luther and Blueprint. The role of distributor had been assumed by those films' producers NFP teleart and Relevant Film, respectively, with UIP handling the booking and billing.
Moreover, the rights reverted to the producers when it was clear that Ottfilm would not be in a position to release other titles originally planned in Ottfilm's lineup.
Consequently, Fatih Akin's Berlinale competition film Head-On (Gegen Die Wand), which was once in Ottfilm's programme, will be the first release by the new distribution company Timebandits which was unveiled at the Hof Film Days last autumn
Wim Wenders' Reverse Angle Production came to an amicable agreement with Ott on taking back the rights to the collection of The Blues music documentaries and plans to release The Soul Of A Man on May 6 via its own theatrical arm (see separate story).
Ottfilm failed to hit the big time with its earlier releases except for Sandra Nettelbeck's Mostly Martha (Bella Martha) which took over Euros 2.8m, Plots With A View with Euros 1m and Gosford Park with Euros 2.7m.
According to insiders, Christoph Ott would concentrate in future on consulting for the marketing campaigns of such UIP releases as the animation feature Derrick - Die Pflicht Ruft and the Otto comedy Sieben Zwerge - Maenner Allein Im Wald.