Independent distributor Optimum Releasing is launching a stand-alone DVD arm under the banner of Optimum Home Entertainment.

Stuart Henderson, previously at VCI, joins as the company as marketing manager: home entertainment as the first appointment to the division. Sales for the new label will be handled by Elevation Sales, with a team headed by Graham Davidson.

Bracketing product in strands such as Optimum Classics, Optimum World and Optimum Asia, the unit will handle current Optimum titles including Spirited Away, Animal Factory, Roger Dodger and American Splendor. Back catalogue films include Amores Perros, The Devil's Backbone and Lost In La Mancha.

'With such a strong line-up in terms of both new release and catalogue titles, there was a real need for us to establish a division that could fully take advantage of the opportunities offered by a robust Home Entertainment market,' said Will Clarke, Optimum's managing director.