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Kino Lorber To Revive Tartan’s ‘Asia Extreme’ Collection (Exclusive)

HONG KONG – Specialty North American distributor Kino Lorber has picked up distribution rights to the Palisades Tartan library, which includes the iconic “Asian Extreme” movie collection.

Ownership of the 90-title collection remains with Palisades Tartan, giving Kino Lorber U.S. home entertainment rights including packaged media, digital and repertory theatrical rights. The deal also includes rights to some titles in Canada.

Company principal Richard Lorber said that Kino Lorber will now take certain titles out on limited theatrical release. Others will be issued on Blu-Ray (under the Palisades Tartan label) for the first time in North America.

While some of the titles have previously been represented by Vivendi and eOne, these deals have now expired. Kino Lorber plans new digital releases since many of the titles have not been widely available on the most current new media and digital platforms.

The Asia Extreme label was assembled and pioneered by the U.K.’s Tartan Films before it expanded into the U.S. in the early 2000s and filed for bankruptcy in June 2008. It notably includes Park Chan-Wook’s “Oldboy,” and the other instalments of Park’s ‘revenge trilogy’ “Sympathy For Lady Vengeance” and “Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance;” Johnnie To’s “Election,” and “Triad Election;” Yoji Yamada’s samurai epic “The Hidden Blade;” and Shinya Tsukamoto’s cult classic “Tetsuo The Iron Man;” Kim Jee-woon’s “A Tale of Two Sisters” (pictured); Thai horror “Shutter,” as well as early films by Kim Ki Duk “Samaritan Girl,” “The Coast Guard,” “The Bow” and “Breath.”

The Palisades Tartan-branded titles included Carlos Reygadas’ “Battle In Heaven;” Michael Winterbottom’s “9 Songs;” Ulrich Seidel’s “Import Export;” and Feng Xiaogang’s “A World Without Thieves.”

“We are exultant to be able to bring the gems of the Palisades Tartan library back to market on all home entertainment physical and digital platforms. It’s why we exist as a company—these films define our mission,” said Lorber.

With the Tartan titles expanding its library to nearly 900 titles Kino Lorber is one of the key indie art house distributors in North America. It releases some 25 films per year theatrically. Some 70 titles a year go to home entertainment via its own DVD brands and direct digital distributor deals with the major platforms including iTunes, Netflix, Hulu and Amazon.

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