Former-A Film boss Pim Hermeling has revealed details of the distribution operation he is setting up in the Netherlands with Wild Bunch.
Speaking in Venice, he said the new venture marked the latest step in Wild Bunch's long march toward setting up a pan-European distribution network and follows on from alliances already struck include Bim in
Italy and Senator in Germany.
The company - which is yet to be named officially but is likely to be called 'Wild Bunch Holland' - has already picked up several titles, among them Hayao Miyazaki's Ponyo On The Cliff By The
Sea and Guillermo Arriaga's The Burning Plain (both of which screened in Venice) The Meerkats, Two Lovers and Largo Winch.
'What the structure is we need to finalise. We need to strike the contracts so it is a bit soon to talk about it but let's put it this way - Wild Bunch and Pim are going to work together on something new in the Benelux,' said Hermeling.
The new outfit will be acquiring third-party product as well as titles from Wild Bunch.
Its other new pick-ups include Tom McCarthy's The Visitor (from K5.) Hermeling aims to acquire rights for all of Benelux but says that he is
unlikely to set up a new distribution company in Belgium.
He plans to release between 15 and 25 movies a year.
'I am very keen on doing something with production. That is part of the
bigger plan. We are going to produce through the new company,' Hermeling added.
He said that he was also keen to work with local producers in Benelux.
Hermeling's alliance with Wild Bunch comes at a time when other Benelux distributors are also looking for international partners.
Earlier this year, in the Canadian outfit Entertainment One bought RCV.
The exact structure of the company will be made clear in the coming weeks.
Wild Bunch used to have an alliance with A Film when Hermeling was still boss of the outfit. When Hermeling left A Film earlier in the year, Wild Bunch was keen to continue working with him.
'Wild Bunch wants to expand in several territories but it wants to use and
maintain the experience of an organisation that is already there,' Hermeling explained the strategy of his new
'When I left A-Film, Wild Bunch asked if I was still interested in doing something with them without an organisation. I said yes and so we had to talk about setting up something new.'
Hermeling said that it had taken him longer than expected to sort out the
legal issues created by his departure from A-Film and this has delayed the start of the new alliance with Wild Bunch.
'The reason I left A-Film was that I don't believe any more in a company
that is owned by people from the Benelux solely for Benelux. It is too small. Prices of MGs are going up every market. P&A expenses are very, very expensive and going up while the margins are going down. You need to have a connection with a French or German or British
company that is stronger than you are financially,' Hermeling stated.