Bronckart brothers try their hands at distribution
by Aurore Engelen
08/09/2009 - The Bronckart brothers have announced the creation of a new distribution outfit, O’Brother. Given the current situation in the film distribution sector, the news is not insignificant.
The Union of Francophone Film Producers said it has received a message from Flemish distributor Lumière in May 2008, announcing that it was no longer interested in distributing French-speaking Belgian features because of adequate profits. This decision was like a cold shower at the time because Lumière had been a well-known player in the area for many years.
Nine months ago, production outfit Climax (Coquelicots, Séraphine [trailer], Mr Nobody [trailer, film focus]…), put off by the difficulty of finding partners for its films, set up its own distribution outfit, Big Bang.
L’asbl Un soir… un grain, who organise the Brussels Short Film and the Be Film festivals, got involved in distribution last June with its release of Hand of the Headless Man [trailer], the second feature by the Malandrin brothers, completed since autumn of 2007 but whose release had been postponed on several occasions.
Joining the list of producers-turned-distributors are Olivier and Jacques-Henri Bronckart, founders of Versus Production in 1999, and the company Tax Shelter Inver Invest in 2005. The experienced producers joined the services of Henk Cluytens, theatre programmer at Flemish group Studio. O’Brother will soon release Simon Konianski [trailer] (Micha Wald’s second film, released this summer in France), and are already announcing an enticing line-up based on the Versus catalogue, with upcoming releases from Olivier Masset-Depasse, Joachim Lafosse, Bouli Lanners and Stefan Liberski, as well as co-productions such as Fabrice Genestal’s Black Box and Gilles Marchand’s L’Autre Monde (‘The Other World’).
O’Brother plans to distribute a dozen or so Belgian and international titles between now and 2010.
(Translated from French)