Arts Alliance Media acquires Hart Sharp
by Naman Ramachandran
London based digital distributor Arts Alliance Media has acquired New York based Hart Sharp Video, the company that distributed Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me. The new company will be named Arts Alliance America.
Arts Alliance had been a stakeholder in the American company since its formation in 2003. The recently concluded deal is partly a result of Hart Sharp founders John Hart and Jeffrey Sharp deciding to end their producing partnership. Joe Amodei, the president of Hart Sharp will continue as president of Arts Alliance America. He will report to CEO Howard Kiedaisch, an industry veteran who has previously worked with Universal Pictures, Orion and Polygram.
Kiedaisch said, “I have known Joe and his team for over 10 years now and am really happy to announce Arts Alliance America with them on board. With such a savvy and well-respected group of professionals, many great opportunities lie ahead for us as we take our digital home distribution business to new heights.”
Arts Alliance is the primary shareholder in LoveFilm, one of Europe’s biggest online rental services. The UK Film Council, which has a 240 screen digital network, making it Europe’s largest, awarded the right to operate it to Arts Alliance. The company plans to use this expertise to expand into the lucrative US market. “They will be assisting us in building systems like their own in the US so we can better deliver content directly to the consumer,” Amodei said.
The company is keen to integrate into film production, acquisition and theatrical distribution. According to Amodei, the deal will give the company the necessary financial clout to achieve this. The first step under the new regime will be the June 8 New York release of Chalk – a mockumentary on teaching – that Amodei co-produced with Morgan Spurlock. The film will be released under the banner “Morgan Spurlock Presents”. Spurlock is currently putting together the keenly awaited documentary about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden.
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