MGM, U.K.’s Optimum ink distrib deal

'Flawless', 'Julie' build new firm's rep

LONDON — MGM has entered a partnership with U.K. indie distrib Optimum Releasing to handle the release of two of its pics, “Flawless” and “Miss Julie.”

MGM was originally seeking to sell off the U.K. rights through its foreign sales arm United Artists Films, but by putting the films through Optimum instead, the studio is able to access its own lucrative pay TV deal with British Sky Broadcasting.

Maximum exposure

The deal marks a significant step up for Optimum, which was launched last year by managing director Will Clarke and is quietly building a rep for innovative niche distribution.

MGM’s Gina Stroud commented, “Both ‘Miss Julie’ and ‘Flawless’ require special attention, and for the U.K. market we wanted a distributor who understood the product and had the experience to exploit it.”

Foreign fare

Separately, Optimum has made its first move into foreign-lingo fare by picking up the Iranian pic “Color of Paradise” and pacting to re-release the Gallic classic “A Bout de Souffle” (Breathless).

“The company is now in a position where it can comfortably release a diversity of mainstream and traditional arthouse product with precision within the U.K.,” commented Clarke.

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