Paul Brooks, theLondon-born producer and president of financing, production and internationalsales outfit Gold Circle Films, which co-funded 2001's smash hit MyBig Fat Greek Wedding,announced today (Jan 14) the launch of domestic theatrical distributor GoldCircle Releasing. While independent distribution is a notoriously treacherousbusiness, Brooks, who founded UK distributor Metrodome in the mid-1990s,believes the market is showing promise as audiences increasingly seek outnon-mainstream fare and he cites last year as a time when many independentproductions were successful. 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a classic example - perhaps theclassic example - of total belief in a film motivating thefinancier-distributor (us!) to completely direct our joint destiny throughcontrolling every aspect of the campaign by being able to choose our partnersin the process and be guided by them but under our own instincts,' Brookssaid in a prepared statement.

'Iabsolutely believe in the concept of the 'indie multiplex' movieand if you look at this year, with Greek Wedding being an extreme example, there hasnever been a year when so many indie movies worked in the marketplace. I alsobelieve in enfranchising producers in the distribution process. [My Big FatGreek Wedding productionoutfit] Playtone was a crucial component in the overall success of the film,taking their roles very seriously right through from production through todistribution.'

He added:'We appreciate that Greek Wedding exceeded our expectations but that is the business we areall in - the hope is that when instinct truly pays off, it pays off big,and when one is wrong, one is wrong. Period. We just aim to do the best we canwith passion and professionalism in what we believe is a unique moment in our industry.'

Gold Circle willcontinue to work in partnership with other distributors such as The SamuelGoldwyn Company and it currently works with HBO/Warner Home Video as its videopartner. The company will concentrate on both targeted, specialised releasesand pictures that will also play in dozens of markets, with hundreds of prints,simultaneously. Gold Circle Films co-financed My Big Fat Greek Wedding with HBO at production level, acquiringdomestic theatrical rights and foreign sales rights. It fully financed theP&A of the domestic release and paid IFC a fee to sub-distribute. Thecreative elements of the campaign were executed in close co-operation withproducers Playtone.

Gold Circle,which is owned by Gateway entrepreneur Norm Waitt, has three films slated forrelease in early 2003: Dysfunktional Family, which follows Undercover Brother star Eddie Griffin on his stand-upcomedy tour, was directed by George Gallo and is being released by Miramax onFeb 28; the comedy Poolhall Junkies, which was written and directed by Mars Callahan; and the stonercomedy Rolling Kansas,Thomas Hayden Church's directorial debut. Dysfunktional Family and Rolling Kansas will both screen at the Sundance FilmFestival, which runs from Jan 16-26.

Gold CircleFilms' early 2003 production slate includes the comedy Jiminy Glick- In LaLaWood, theromantic comedy The Last 2 People on Earth, the supernatural thriller Broken, and the horror picture Interstate.