Wise Policy heads for bankruptcy

Japanese distributor falls on hard times

TOKYO — Indie distrib Wise Policy has filed for bankruptcy in Tokyo District Court, company sources have revealed.

Owing a total of $6.39 million to 186 creditors, the company applied for bankruptcy on April 16 and liquidation procedures started on April 22.

Launched as Cinema Parisien in 1997 by Atsushi Okita and Runa Yamagishi, the company initially specialized in French and other European arthouse titles, including Anne Fontaine’s “Dry Cleaning,” Patrice Leconte’s “The Girl on the Bridge” and James Ivory’s “The Golden Bowl.” The company also moved into co-production with Leconte’s “Love Street” and “The Man on the Train,” as well as Amos Kollek’s “Bridget.”

In 2004, the company changed its name to Wise Policy, while broadening its lineup to include such non-European pics as Woody Allen’s “Scoop,” Ang Lee’s “Brokeback Mountain” and “Lust, Caution” and its most recent release, the Jon Poll laffer “Charlie Bartlett.”

The ongoing slump in the theatrical and DVD market for foreign arthouse fare, however, has hit small distribs like Wise Policy particularly hard, with little relief in sight.

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