Los Angeles-based entrepreneur David Bergstein has slotted in the latestpiece in his vision for an international entertainment group with theacquisition of THINKFilm.
Bergstein bought UK-based Capitol Films in January and will marrythat company's extensive overseas relationships and involvement on bigger budgetprojects with THINKFilm's domestic connections and steadfast reputation as oneof the most cutting-edge distributors in North America.
It is understood all the company's staff will remain in place. Financialdetails of the transaction were not disclosed at time of writing.
More than 20 companies have courted THINKFilm since it appointedCAA to advise upon and broker a deal. The company launched five years ago andits release slate includes Half Nelson, the French foreign-language Oscar entry Avenue Montaigne, Candy and the oscar winning documentary BornInto Brothels,
"We were heavily pursued and this enables us to start afreshfrom a bigger platform," Jeff Sackman, co-founder, president and chief executiveofficer, told Screen. "Some people were looking to turn us into aspecialty label, but we wanted to stay independent and continue doing what wedo. We're delighted with this deal and to be working with David.
"THINKFilm and Capitol are perfectly complementarycompanies: they don't have a domestic arm and we can provide that as necessary.It will enable us to get more involved in films at the gestation stage. Somefilms will be a good fit for us and others will work better at Capitol."
"We're thrilled to be in the THINKFilm business,"Bergstein, who becomes THINKFilm chairman, added. "From the outset, it wasclear we shared an overall vision for success, and a deep-rooted passion to continuouslydeliver high-quality films - The collaboration will allow us to pursue our grandvision, including becoming more involved in production, wider releases, andrapid expansion."
The driving force behind the business deal on THINKFilm's behalfwas senior vice president and chief financial officer Marc Hirshberg. CAA brokeredthe transaction.
Capitol'sinternational sales slate has included Robert Altman's ensemble drama APrairie Home Companion,and Sidney Lumet's heist thriller Before The Devil Knows You're Dead starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman andEthan Hawke. ICM is representing North American rights on the latter, andSackman said it was too soon to say if THINKFilm would become the domesticdistributor.