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TOKYO – France Eigasha, a pioneering Japanese indie distributor that started business in 1968, has filed for bankruptcy.

The company was best known for its Bow Series of films by leading foreign auteurs, including Theo Angelopoulos, Jim Jarmusch, Wim Wenders, Hou Hsiao Hsien and Jane Campion. Among its hits were “Wings of Desire” (1987), “The Puppet Master” (1993) and “The Piano” (1993).
 
The company’s revenues, which once reached $7 million annually, have since fallen below the $1 million mark as Japanese filmgoers turn away from foreign films in general and art house films in particular.  
 
According to the bankruptcy filing in Tokyo District Court the company owes $321,600 to thirteen creditors.
 
Among other small-to-mid-level Japanese distributors that have gone bust in recent years are Prenom-H, Movie-Eye, Tornado, Wise Policy and Cine Qua Non.