UIP going it alone in Poland

Move follows official end of joint venture with ITI

WARSAW — United International Pictures is setting up its own local film distributor for the Polish market.

The move follows the official end of UIP’s three year-old joint venture with local player ITI.

“The market is now large enough to set up on our own,” UIP prexy and COO Andrew Cripps told Daily Variety.

UIP’s upcoming line-up of movies for Poland include “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” “The Mummy Returns,” “Shrek” and “Tomb Raider.”

UIP and ITI had been functioning as separate entities since the beginning of the year. “Enemy At The Gate,” for example, was handled by UIP and “O Brother, Where Art Thou” by ITI.

ITI plans to concentrate on indie pics and Polish productions and will soon release “Just Visiting,” “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” and Polish pic, “Chopin: Desire Of Love.”

But some analysts question the logic of the UIP-ITI split.

Acting separately, the two companies are weaker, and 2000 was the poorest in attendance for Polish cinemas in six years. The market so far this year is not faring any better.

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