Distributor also acquires company's film library

Canuck distrib Entertainment One will handle ThinkFilm pics in Canada via its Seville Pictures through 2010.

The formerly Canadian-owned ThinkFilm had to find a local distributor after it was purchased by Los Angeles entrepreneur David Bergstein’s CapCo Group in October 2006.

Under Canadian law, a foreign-owned company can’t distribute pics in the country. The only exceptions are the Hollywood majors, who operate under a grandfather clause.

“This (deal) has taken longer than we thought it would,” said ThinkFilm CEO Jeff Sackman. “Timing in life is everything, and had we done this a year ago, there wouldn’t have been an Entertainment One to make a deal with.”

Entertainment One morphed from a DVD distributor into a theatrical distrib last summer.

Sackman said the deal will change little for his company because 90% of its business is in the U.S.

Entertainment One has also acquired ThinkFilm’s library of 235 films, upping its own library to more than 700 titles.

The move turns Entertainment One into a major force in Canada, following its acquisition last summer of Montreal-based Seville. 

It also has an output deal with Summit Entertainment and the Yari Film Group.

Seville recently announced that it was pooling its resources with Robert Lantos’ Maximum Films to jointly distribute their pics in Canada.

Seville co-president David Reckziegel said the ThinkFilm pics will increase its Canadian theatrical slate to more than 50 films per year.

Slate includes Paul Schrader’s “The Walker”; “The Air That I Breathe,” with Sarah Michelle Gellar and Kevin Bacon; “Nanking”; and the documentary “Taxi to the Dark Side.”

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