The next two New Zealand films to release locally signal the arrival of two "new" theatrical distributors - or, more accurately, players who have principally been active in video distribution.

Mark Galloway's Stage Door Entertainment releases The Price Of Milk on March 1, and Gordon Adam's Metropolis Film releases The Irrefutable Truth About Demons on March 22. Both are welcome additions to the local distribution scene.

"I would have said that I wouldn't be doing multiplex pictures four months ago but the first one I have is going into multiplexes," said Adam, referring to Demons, which goes out on seven prints in Auckland, before travelling to regional areas. Demons, directed by Glenn Standring, was the country's biggest seller at Cannes last year and production company First Sun's debut. It was released into 5,000 Blockbuster stores in the US in January.

Adam's plans for Metropolis Films is to release eight to 10 theatrical titles per year and 10 to 20 on video, some of which he hopes to pick up at AFM. During his career Adams has been managing director of Warner Home Video Australia and distribution manager for NZ's Everard Films. Most recently he has been a video-only distributor -- he handled Polygram, later Universal, product in NZ.

Galloway recognises that NZ films need long campaigns and very careful handling and he is releasing Harry Sinclair's Milk on only three prints. He is only likely to take on one or two annually but would probably commit to more if they were a bit lighter:

He re-entered the theatrical business after investing in the company that is having considerable success releasing films from the MGM/UA catalogue including Gone With The Wind. He is one of the biggest video distributors of NZ programming of all types.

"If someone said to 'you can either be a film distributor or a video distribution but you can't do both', I would opt for video distribution. It's hard to get theatrical venues but you can sell video anywhere."