Winstar purchased, redubbed Wellspring

TV, homevid, prod'n, distrb'n units included in buyout

NEW YORK — Winstar Television and Video, the entertainment arm of media company Winstar Communications, has been purchased by a group of private investors and renamed Wellspring Media.

Buyout includes theatrical division Winstar Cinema as well as the television, homevideo, production and direct distribution units incorporating over 1,000 hours of programming.

Winstar president and CEO Al Cattabiani will retain his title at Wellspring, as will all key personnel. “The name is new, but the company and its programming are well known,” Cattabiani said. “We’re established as a leading independent supplier of notable film, television and video programming for those with a sense of aesthetic, cultural and intellectual adventure. As Wellspring, we will build on this strong base.”

The newly named company, which will continue to focus on arthouse and foreign language titles, will screen two of its films at Sundance: “Devil’s Playground,” a docu to unspool as part the American Spectrum program, and “Bintou,” a short directed by African helmer Fanta Regina Nacro. Wellspring execs Krysanne Katsoolis, Julie Goodman and Marie Therese Guirgis will travel to Park City to rep the company at the event.

Wellspring will present its inaugural theatrical release in mid-January with Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-liang’s “What Time Is It There?” Other upcoming titles for 2002 include Olivier Assayas’ “Les Destinees,” Paul Cox’s “Nijinsky” and Anne-Sophie Birot’s “Girls Can’t Swim.”

Recent Winstar releases include Edward Yang’s “Yi Yi,” Bruno Dumont’s “Humanite,” Leos Carax’s “Pola X” and Jafar Panahi’s “The Circle.”