Montreal-based sales agent Sphere Films International is to close down on June 16 as parent company Sphere said it was refocusing its distribution activities.
The highly regarded sales business led by co-presidents Anick Poirier and Lorne Price was noted throughout the global independent community for championing arthouse film, often by first-time directors.
The company has been handling sales on Fantasia opener Red Rooms and its credits include award-winners such as Canada’s 2020 Oscar submission Antigone by Sophie Deraspe and more recently Anthony Shim’s Riceboy Sleeps, Stéphane Lafleur’s Viking, and Job Clerc’s Sweet As.
The arthouse and specialty sector has weathered sustained challenges and faces an uphill struggle to gain traction at the box office.
Lingering reluctance among sections of the audience over returning to cinemas in the wake of the pandemic, plus a lack of titles catering to the non-tentpole crowd, have made the situation particularly difficult.
Announcing the closure of the four-person team, parent Sphere said it was refocusing its Canadian distribution activities under Sphere Films.
Active Sphere Films International sales titles will revert to the producers. Prior to Sphere Films International, Poirier and Price led WaZabi Films and prior to that Seville International.