London-based film distributor HB FILMS has teamed up with Film and Music Entertainment (F&ME) to release a slate of co-productions as well as third-party acquisitions from F&ME's European and US production partners.

The slate includes a re-release of Milcho Manchevski's Academy Award nominated and Venice winner Before the Rain, Danish thriller Murk written by Thomas Jensen and Montreal winner Christos Georgiu's Under the Stars.

On the documentary front, HB and F&ME are also in talks for the distribution of Mareike Schomerus' Sudan oil documentary Beneath the Surface.

F&ME producer and managing director, Mike Downey explained the impetus behind the venture. 'There is increased pressure to secure solid distribution by both major institutions and co-production partners,' said Downey. 'By establishing this distribution agreement with the very talented team at HB films, we have found a very progressive outlet for our international co-productions.'

On the distribution side, HB principal Bjorn Ricketts highlighted the company's view that the industry needs to reflect the changes in audience attitudes and viewing habits.

'We want to democratise film distribution, bringing films from around the world to new audiences in ways that fit with their lifestyle and fast-evolving way of thinking,' said Ricketts.

'We are about diverse films, innovative distribution and easy access. By joining forces with F&ME we are acquiring a catalogue of European films by some of the most significant independent directors of our time.'