Groove Corporation, co-producer of Shohei Imamura's 1997 Cannes Grand Prize winner The Eel (Unagi), as well as other critically acclaimed indie titles, has filed for bankruptcy protection at Nagoya District Court. Its total debt was reported as $42m (Y5bn).
Founded in 1976,. Groove began life as a video sales and rental store management company. Groove has also produced and distributed fifteen films, the most recent being Kiju Yoshida's Women In The Mirror, which screened out of competition at Cannes last year.
Groove has been hit by the poor recoupment of recent titles. Also, declines in prices of videos and DVDs sold to rental chains have cut into profits. Groove has tried various restructuring strategies, including the sale of eight of its video stores last year, but results have been slow in coming, while efforts to raise gap financing have so far failed.
Among recent Groove releases are the 2001 Jang Jin thriller Guns & Talks and the Junji Hanado drama Touch A Dream.