LONDON — AtomFilms, a Seattle-based ‘Netcaster that specializes in short films, has opened a London office and launched a European channel.
AtomFilms Europe already has picked up 150 Euro shorts for distribution via the Internet and other media.
It has signed output deals with Brit animation house Aardman Animation Ltd., the BBC’s “10×10” series and Tartan Shorts, a joint venture between BBC Scotland and Scottish Screen.
Atom’s Web site will now contain one channel devoted solely to European shorts, both in English and other languages.
Its London office, headed by managing director Michael Commish, includes both acquisition and sales teams.
“This is a very clear statement by AtomFilms about the importance of Europe,” Commish said. “We don’t even have an office in New York yet. Most American Internet companies take between 18 months and four years before they come to Europe, but we’re doing it six months after we launched in the U.S.”
This aggressive move has been driven by two factors: a strong TV market for shorts in Europe and the popularity of European films among Atom’s U.S. audience.
Liz Keynes, head of rights and licensing at Aardman, said, “AtomFilms offers a unique way of showcasing our short films worldwide, extending Aardman’s reach to audiences previously poorly served by mainstream broadcasters and film distributors.”
Atom’s backers include Warner Bros. Online, Frank Biondi, Allen & Co. and the U.K.-based venture capital group Arts Alliance.