French sales company Wild Bunch and French groupPan-Europeenne Films are joining forces through theatrical distributionoutfit Pan-Europeenne Edition.

Pan-Europeenne Edition will be majority owned by Wild Bunch and run byPan-Europeenne chief Philippe Godeau along with former StudioCanal executiveJean-Philippe Tirel, who recently joined Wild Bunch. Tirel's title will bedeputy managing director. The rest of the Pan-Europeenne team will remain inplace with some new hires likely in the coming months.

Pan-Europeenne Edition will aim to release 15 films per year inFrance including those produced by Pan-Europeenne Production, Wild Bunch andWild Side, which was recently acquired by Wild Bunch. Additionally, the newstructure will acquire third party films for the French market.

The current move into theatrical distribution follows theacquisition of Wild Side Video and Wild Side Films from Bac Majestic in April,and means that Wild Bunch, with its core business of international sales, isnow present in all areas of distribution.

In a joint statement released yesterday (6 Sept), Wild Bunchmanaging director Brahim Chouia said: "The experience, renown and successof Philippe Godeau and his team make Pan Europeenne a natural partner with whomwe are happy to be associated."

Godeau said: "Teamed with Wild Bunch we will have access to awider range of films which will help to reinforce our common distributionactivity."

Upcoming films to be released by the new structure include LandOf The Dead by George Romero, The Eye 2 from the Pang brothers, LesSoeurs Fachees by Alexandra Leclere, Camping A La Ferme byJean-Pierre Sinapi, Mauvaise Foi by Roschdy Zem and Undertow byDavid Gordon Green.