Australian distrib/exhib Ronin Films is spending the last of the spoils from “Strictly Ballroom” to expand its circuit, launch its own video banner and buy three French pictures, including “Germinal.”Noting that the “Strictly Ballroom” gross of $ A22 million ($ 14.7 million) “changed our lives dramatically,” Ronin topper Andrew Pike outlined the company’s “post-Ballroom” game plan Thursday. Pike said he’s enlarged the staff from 11 to 18, the new hires including exhib general manager Francois Sauzier and project manager Jennifer Williams. Pike disclosed Ronin has nabbed Australian rights to French trio, Claudi Berri’s epic “Germinal,” Aline Isserman’s “Shades of Doubt” and the Isabelle Adjani-Vincent Perez starrer “La Reine Margot.” After searching in vain for the ideal video distrib, Ronin is launching its own label, Ronin Films on Video, as a co-venture with 21st Century Pictures, an indie formed two years ago by former Fox Video chief Ray Robinson. “Orlando” will be the debut release next May.
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