German sales and distribution group Kinowelt Medien has sold a package of 70 films to Universal Studios Networks Deutschland and a further four titles to state-owned free broadcaster ZDF.
The pictures licensed to ZDF are Tony Bui's Sundance hit Three Seasons, Neil LaBute's forthcoming Nurse Betty, Pavel Chukhraj's The Thief (Vor) and Michael Winterbottom's Old New Borrowed Blue.
The deal with Universal Studios Networks is Kinowelt's first with the channel packager and covers catalogue titles produced between 1939 and 1995. The films - by directors including Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Aki Kaurismaki, Jim Jarmusch, Jane Campion and Eric Rohmer - are sold on a non-exclusive basis and will be screened in an 18-month window on Universal's 13th Street and Studio Universal channels.
"With the arrival of players like Universal, we are seeing the opening up of a second cycle in pay-TV after the first-run pay-TV, video and free TV windows," said Jochen Hesse, Kinowelt head of TV sales. "In the next one or two years this will become more important as operators including Primacom and other independents take advantage of digital technology to launch specialist channels. Obviously they cannot all show first run movies against Premiere."
Titles include Wong Kar Wai's Chungking Express, Rohmer's L'Ami De Mon Ami, Fritz Lang's The Blue Gardenia, Jarmusch's Night On Earth and Campion's Sweetie.