UK indie distributor Tartan Films has gone into administration.
Screen Daily report:
UK distributor Tartan Films has gone into administration, ending months of speculation.
The business, founded in 1982 by Hamish McAlpine, is believed to have made more than 20 staff redundant.
The news has come as no surprise after months of discussion about the company’s finance.
Last year, the business restructured with veteran managing director Laura De Casto leaving the business.
Head of acquisitions Jane Giles also left the business to become head of content at the British Film Institute. Other veterans who left the company in recent months included publicity veteran Sarah Bemand.
The company announced a $6m investment package in November 2007 but sources said that ultimately fell through. The company has announced no new acquisitions since that time.
This is really sad news – as one of the key remaining independents in UK cinema they brought a lot of interesting films to a wider audience including: Super Size Me, The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, Capturing the Friedmans, The Cooler, Ivan’s XTC, My Architect, Être et avoir, Irreversible, Secretary, Funny Games, Tesis, La Haine, Safe, Cronos, Hard Boiled, Man Bites Dog, The Double Life of Veronique, Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse, Cyrano de Bergerac and A Short Film About Killing.
They also released a raft of important Asian titles under their Tartan Asia Extreme label, including: Ring, Audition, The Eye, Battle Royale and Oldboy.
Their library also includes over 30 Ingmar Bergman titles.
Screen Daily quote Mark Batey, CEO of the Film Distributors Association as saying:
“It’s a sad day. The company had an extrordinary track record of distributing films from all over the world and it has become a brand in the way that not many publishers of intellectual property in any sector have managed.”
Hamish McAlpine founded the company in 1984 and it merged with Metro Pictures in 1992 (becoming Metro Tartan) beofre going back to being Tartan Films.
Variety have more details:
Last October Tartan announced it had received a cash injection of £3 million ($6.2 million) in the form of a convertible loan from a private investor and also had restructured its Brit operation, with managing director Laura De Casto ankling.
The company’s theatrical and home entertainment departments, previously run out of separate London offices, were also merged into one entity based at Tartan’s head office.
Tartan USA, the company’s U.S. arm, announced at this year’s Cannes that it was being foreclosed. Film print and advertising financing company Palisades Media Corp. has since bought the U.S. rights to its library.
There has been no official statement from execs about the immediate future of the company, but it looks likely that liquidators and accountants will come in to assess the company’s assets before selling them off.
> Screen Daily, Variety and The Hollywood Reporter on the news
> Official site for Tartan Films (still up at the time of writing)
> A list of films released by Tartan over at Wikipedia