Wild Bunch acquires stake in Vertigo Films
by Fabien Lemercier
21/09/2011 - After Italy (Bim Distribuzione) and Germany (Central Verleih), French company Wild Bunch has acquired a majority stake in Spanish distributor Vertigo Films. The outfit will still be headed by Andrès Martin and will have great autonomy when it comes to buying films for its line-up.
As Wild Bunch’s managing director Brahim Chioua told Cineuropa in an interview last year, relations between the French company and its European subsidiaries are very flexible: "We don’t impose anything on them apart from the usual budgetary constraints. But they don’t have an absolute priority over Wild Bunch’s products: we continue to sell on those territories to rival distributors and, except where there is positioning at a very early stage on projects, there is open competition".
Asked about the possibility of simultaneous releases on the European markets where Wild Bunch operates as a distributor (France, Germany, Italy and now Spain), he pointed out: "We don’t make the same films. In general, they’re adapted to their markets and are released differently. Of course, we pass on our advertising campaigns for releases, but each distributor redoes their own campaign, chooses the dates which are not ideal or identical on these three territories. A simultaneous release could be a good idea for genre films where video is important, where piracy is detrimental, but it’s not the case generally."
At a time when StudioCanal (subsidiary of the Canal+ group) has brought together its French, UK and German distribution arms under the same brand (see news), by stepping onto the Spanish market Wild Bunch is showing that independents are not lacking in European ambition either.
(Translated from French)