Pinnacle launches in Oz distrib market

Company to pick up six to eight pics a year

SYDNEY — A new player has entered the Down Under distrib market with the launch of Pinnacle Films.

Distrib, which is a subsidiary of Queensland-based homevid distribbery All Interactive Distribution, aims to pick up about six to eight projects a year with at least one or two being local pics.

Pinnacle has appointed Richard Sheffield to head up its new shingle. Sheffield has worked in distribution and production in Australia and New Zealand for the past decade. Prior to that he was topper of Universal International Australia and New Zealand and Polygram Filmed Entertainment.

The future of distributing on DVD is limited, Sheffield told Daily Variety, and to be a film distributor in this day and age is about exploiting all rights, including theatrical.

Sheffield says he will be looking for “commercial films or whatever makes commercial sense to us” and is keen to support local filmmakers.

It is competitive in the Aussie market at present as Stateside distribs take a keener interest in local pick-ups, due in part to a fall in the number of studio films being made, but Sheffield is undaunted.

“I’ve worked in the studio system,” he said. “And while that may be the case today it may not be the case next week or next month or next year; they will change to whatever suits them.”

Pinnacles launches pics that will include “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” by Wayne Wang (“The Joy Luck Club”), and “The Reef,” a local shark thriller by helmer-scribe Andrew Traucki (“Black Water”). Both films are scheduled for release in the first quarter of next year.

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