Oz distrib topper ankles

Lum to leave Dendy to start new shingle

SYDNEY — Troy Lum has ankled as topper of one of Australia’s leading arthouse distribbers, Dendy Films, a division of Becker Entertainment.

Becker topper Richard Becker confirmed Lum’s amicable departure to set up his own business.

Lum refused to disclose details of the new shingle, which could face stiff competition in a sector which recently gained two new distribbers: Icon and Hoyts. “There’s always enough room if you’ve got the right product,” he said.

Lum started at Dendy in 1996 as assistant to then topper Lynne McCarthy. The financially-strained company was acquired by Becker and underwent a substantial overhaul before a 24-year-old Lum took the reigns in 1998.

Shingle’s highlight during his tenure was “The Blair Witch Project,” co-distributed with Becker Films to 200 screens, it earned $A10 million ($5.4 million).

“Amelie,” which he acquired at script stage, earned Dendy $3.5 million since its Christmas release and contributed to a 2001 B.O. of $4.9 million.

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