German distrib snags 1,200 titles, plus 'Silence,' 'Gods' rights

BERLIN — In one of the largest library acquisitions of the past decade in German-speaking Europe, Germany’s leading independent film distrib Kinowelt Medien has acquired a library of 1,200 titles.

Library brings with it rights to pics not yet released here, such as Oscar winner “Gods and Monsters,” and builds up Kinowelt archives into the largest of any independent distributor in the region.

The films stock, acquired from a bank consortium, stems from the companies New Regency, Orion, Connexion and Capitol. Rights are for video/DVD, theatrical and TV.

Older pics such as “The Terminator,” “The Silence of the Lambs,” David Lean’s “A Passage to India” and “Highlander” are among the titles. Also included are some 40 pics still to bow here.

Kinowelt chairman Michael Koelmel said the library may generate revenues of DM1 billion ($545 million) over the next decade.

Keen to expand its archives, Kinowelt has submitted a bid to acquire 100% of theatrical distributor Filmverlag der Autoren, which would give it ownership of a significant catalog of rights from the New German Cinema era including pics by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Wim Wenders and Werner Herzog.

Last year, Kinowelt acquired rights to over 5,000 video and DVD titles in the Kirch Group’s extensive library.

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