The rapidly changing Dutch distribution scene this week sees the launch of one more distribution company, appropriately called 1 More Film.
The company is headed by Wallie Polle and Suzan van der Veen, both recently with The Netherlands' leading distributor A-Film. Polle is an industry veteran who has previously worked at Bij The Movies, Meteor Film and Polygram. Van der Veen previously worked with Kriterion, C-Films and Fu Works.
Its first release on April 22 will be Bent Hamer's Norwegian comedy-drama Kitchen Stories. But the company has already amassed a line-up of 32 pictures. These include The Miracle Of Bern, The Cooler, The Station Agent, Life Is A Miracle, Mysterious Skin and the seven-picture Blues series produced by Martin Scorsese.
"We do not shy away from any genre," said Polle. "We are aiming for a small scale approach and quality combined with passion for film, directors and audience."
1 More Film has close relations with A-Film, from which it will sub-license about half its product, typically the titles which are too small for A-Film to handle efficiently. (A-Film has similar relations with Bright Angel, a distributor with a predilection for Asian film formed a year ago by Chris Oosterom and Patrizia Raeli.) For other titles 1 More Film will buy independently, often picking up rights for the entire Benelux region.
For distribution in neighbouring Belgium, 1 More Film will deal with Cinelibre on a title-by-title basis, though in the longer term Polle and van der Veen are considering establishing their own Brussels operation.
A year ago a number of distributors were reported to be in sever financial difficulties and others had cut back their acquisitions. But The Netherlands was one of the few European territories last year to resist a decline in box office- admissions grew by 2.5% in 2003.