A-Film to distrib Paradiso's pics in the Netherlands

AMSTERDAM — Dutch distributor A-Film Distribution has joined forces with Brussels-based Benelux distribber Paradiso Filmed Entertainment in an agreement which will have A-Film distribbing Paradiso’s pics in the Netherlands.

The pact is the beginning of what is expected to be a move towards consolidation on the indie front in the Benelux, a territory that like others is plagued by falling box office receipts, piracy and skidding DVD numbers. It could also mean the shuttering of Paradiso’s Dutch office.

Under the deal Paradiso Filmed Entertainment in Belgium will gain access to some of A-Film’s hottest titles, among them Neil Marshall’s “The Descent” and Tsui Hark’s “Seven Swords,” the latter two set for release in 2006.

A-Film, as part of the deal, will release next month Paradiso pics, “March of the Penguins,” directed by Luc Jacquet, and Werner Herzog’s “Grizzly Man,” and in early 2006, George Clooney’s “Good Night, and Good Luck,” and Lawrence Dunmore’s “The Libertine,” among others.

A-Film has a long held distribution agreement with Belgium’s Cineart-Cinelibre, which this deal does not affect, but the partnership with Paradiso, which picks up rights to some 30 pics a year, will strengthen A-Film’s profile at the box office.

A-Film and Paradiso are director driven distributors picking up titles, whether they be mainstream, alternative or crossover, depending on the quality of the len-ser and pic.

For some years A-Film, especially during the “LoR” phenom, was among the top five distribbers in Holland but its ranking has slipped this year, as has its competitor RCV Entertainment, and the only indie remaining in the top five in terms of market share is Independent Films.

RCV Entertainment, in the meantime, has announced post AFM closure of a pack of deals for 19 titles, among them Lee Tamahori’s supernatural pic “Next,” starring Nicolas Cage and Julianne Moore and Chris Noonan’s Beatrix Potter biopic “Miss Potter,” starring Renee Zellweger.

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