April, has announced that it is stepping back from the joint ownership originally envisaged by the deal.
Celluloid and HanWay will exist as separate profit centers, each with its own overhead for acquiring and handling firstrun films, while the two companies will continue to license jointly their combined library of 500 features under the Dreamachine label as well as build up their video-on-demand and VOD rights aggrega-tion biz together.
Celluloid’s Panahi and HanWay’s Thomas will continue to serve as joint chairmen of Dreamachine.
All features that Celluloid or HanWay work on separately will automatically go under the Dreamachine label.
“It’s going back to our own ownership. Right now, we’re better off sticking to our own tastes and management,” said Celluloid topper Panahi. “It was too much to do all in one cycle. We still want to do it in time, but for now we’ll merge our library and VOD.”
Execs at both companies refuted suggestions that the decision had arisen from cultural differences between the two companies.
HanWay, which was founded in 1998 and concentrates on indie fare such as Nick Broomfield’s forthcoming Iraq docudrama “Battle for Haditha” and Mi-chael Winterbottom’s “Genova,” is based in the London.
Celluloid, which was set up in 1993 and has a reputation for working with fest-friendly world cinema auteurs such as Abbas Kiarostami, Jafar Panahi and Francois Ozon, is based in Paris.
“Culturally, it worked really well,” said HanWay CEO Tim Haslam. “This was a practical and economic decision. We have a lot of films to deal with on fir-strun, and this is a sensible way to manage it. It’s the best of both worlds for both companies.
“We will focus our day-to-day efforts on our core business and aggregating our major library and implementing our VOD business together. We’re independ-ent of each other on our firstrun films but wedded on VOD and our library.”
Philippe Aigle, Peter Watson and Haslam will continue to work together on Dreamachine’s strategic plans for new media, digital and catalog distribution. Allesandro Raja will continue in his role as Dreamachine’s director of library sales.