Following the sell-off of its UK exhibition circuit in Dec 2004, Frenchmajor UGC has confirmed that it is closing its UK distribution outfit UGC FilmsUK.

UGC chief executive Alain Sussfeld has confirmed that plans are underwayto "progressively stop" the company's operations.

The three-and-a-half-year-old company run by Louisa Dent and Emma Daviehad worked closely with UGC Cinemas to increase arthouse audiences in UKmultiplexes and had a run of successful titles including Good Bye, Lenin!,Swimming Pool, The Story Of The Weeping Camel, Eight Women and TheReturn.

This year the company has released The Edukators and 5x2 and still has twotitles left to roll out - El Aura and The Cave Of TheYellow Dog - which Sussfeld said would be opened before the end of the year eitherdirectly by UGC or in conjunction with a "major English independentdistributor".

Sussfeld said he was confident that UGC had managed to "show that themarket was susceptible to welcoming independent films better than it was[previously] thought."

But, he added, sinceselling the cinemas, the distribution venture alone made no sense to thecompany. "When one element is gone, it's natural to ask yourself the question."

UGC UK operated on a small overhead as a boutique giving full attentionto its small number of acquisitions. Its other releases included Mike Leigh's AllOr Nothing and Jonathan Nossiter's Mondovino.