The new company is a joint venture between Hermeling and French powerhouse Wild Bunch, which has long been seeking to build up a pan-European distribution network. Jan Van Aert has now joined Hermeling's team. Under the new alliance, Wild Bunch Benelux will make certain acquisitions on its own. Meanwhile, Wild Bunch France distribution will buy French and Benelux rights to certain titles which Hermeling and his team will then release in Benelux.
Here at the AFM, Wild Bunch Benelux which was officially launched in late September has just taken rights to Robert Dornhelm's film version of the Puccini opera La Boheme from German sales agent Beta Cinema. Prior to the market, Wild Bunch Benelux also made a deal with Imagine Film in Belgium to release a package of Imagine's acquisitions in Holland including Wild Bunch titles The Wrestler, Kabuli Kid, Goodbye Solo, Chop Shop and Two-Legged Horse.
Other titles Wild Bunch Benelux will be releasing include Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea, Two Lovers, The Meerkats, Largo Winch and The Killer Inside.
'It's slow. Prices are way too high - it's insane,' Hermeling commented of what has been a muted start to this year's market in Santa Monica, citing sales agents who've been asking prices of up to $1 million for Benelux rights to certain titles. 'The sellers shouldn't blame the financial crisis. The prices are way too high.'