Japanese producer-distributor Movie-Eye Entertainment, distributor of Oscar-winners Crash and Million Dollar Baby, has filed for bankruptcy according to a fax sent to creditors yesterday.

According to a former Movie-Eye employee, the company initially ceased film production operations earlier this year and some redundancies were made. Its website has also been removed.

Movie-Eye increased spend on film in anticipation of becoming a listed company last year but the global financial crisis, Japanese recession and underperforming box office led to losses of  $45m (Y4.29b) over the period.

Established in April 2000 and headed by former Gaga Communications executive Kaz Tadashiki, the company quickly became a key distributor of Hollywood and independent films in the territory while producing local content in-house such as  Shinya Tsukamoto’s Nightmare Detective series.

The future of Oscar-nominated release The Baader Meinhof Complex and upcoming titles such as Piranha 3D is currently unclear.

As reported on ScreenDaily, there has been a string of closures among mid-sized producers and distributors including Wise Policy (Brokeback Mountain, Lust, Caution), Rumble Fish and the near collapse of film fund operation Japan Digital Contents.