Up to 30 million DVDs are believed to have been lost in the fire which was started as part of the London riots, including stock belonging to independent distributors Dogwoof, Artificial Eye, Metrodome and the BFI.
UK distributors Dogwoof, Metrodome and Artificial Eye have confirmed that they have lost all their DVD stock in the fire at Sony’s warehouse in Enfield which was started during the riots in London on Monday night. The BFI has also confirmed that it has lost over 120,000 units of DVD and Blu-ray stock.
The building is used as a storage facility for most of the UK’s independent distributors. Up to 30 million discs are believed to have been lost in the fire.
Dogwoof CEO Anna Godas told Screen that the company had lost around 50,000 DVDs in the fire. “All our DVDs were in the warehouse, so any stock we had is gone. Sony have said they will look after [the stock] and insurance. The problem is orders that are happening and will happen in the next month. DVDS are still our biggest revenue. At this point we don’t know, but I anticipate sales will be lost,” said Godas.
Dogwoof is currently releasing Steve James documentary The Interrupters, which is, ironically, about gangs and social unrest. A screening of the film is due to take place at the Genesis Cinema in London’s Whitechapel tonight, followed by a Q&A with Steve James and representatives from gang related groups, despite the threat of further riots.
“We are talking to the Genesis cinema and they are saying so far it is going ahead and that it is under control.” The cinema closed at 8pm last night.
Meanwhile, Artificial Eye has also confirmed that the company’s entire 300-film-strong catalogue stock, which includes Winter’s Bone, Route Irish, The Three Colours Trilogy and Of Gods And Men, has been destroyed in the fire.
Steve Lewis, Artificial Eye’s home entertainment manager, was neverthless remaining upbeat. “Although this may cause supply problems in the short term, we’ve been impressed by the speed at which Sony have put their contingency plans into action, so disruption should be kept to a minimum. Stock is insured,” he said.
A spokesperson for Metrodome also confirmed that all its stock had been in the building.
The BFI also released a statement confirming that it had lost over 120,000 units of stock, although it did not expect the loss to impact on its new releases, scheduled for August 22.
“Fortunately, our stock is held at two different locations so we still have access to copies of all our titles. Efforts to both fulfil customer orders and replace the lost stock will begin straight away,” added the BFI statement.
It is believed that Sony kept mastercopies of the discs at another location and is now working round the clock in a bid to duplicate the DVDs with a view to start shipping them out as soon as possible. Sony confirmed this morning that the warehouse had been damaged by fire and that there had been no injuries to employees, but the company hasn’t yet released any further statements.
The building was also the main headquarters for the UK’s biggest distributor of independent music Pias, which looks after the stock of more than 150 record labels including Domino, Warp and XL, who work with artists including Adele and Arctic Monkeys.
An official statement from the company said: “Pias is working closely with Sony DADC who are implementing their emergency plans.”