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Genius to Distribute Tartan Product

24 Apr, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel

The Solana Beach, Calif.-based home video distributor, which is 70% owned by Miramax co-founders Bob and Harvey Weinstein at The Weinstein Co. (TWC), has inked a deal to distribute all Asia Extreme product from Tartan Video, including catalog and future releases.

The deal gives Los Angeles-based Tartan access to Genius' burgeoning distribution network while Genius gets a foothold in the hot Asian horror market.

The Tartan portfolio, which was distributed by TLA Releasing, features more than 60 Far East films, including 2004 Cannes Grand Jury Prize Winner Oldboy, A Tale of Two Sisters and Takashi Shimizu's Marebito. The library generated about $6 million of net revenue in 2005 and is expected to grow to $9 million in 2006.

Upcoming Tartan Asia Extreme titles include, from Korea, Cello July 25 (prebook June 20) which chronicles the struggles of a brilliant cellist who craves peace and stability after surviving a car crash. The Japanese samurai thriller The Hidden Blade, Yoji Yamada's 78th film, streets Aug. 8 (prebook July 4). It's a tale of honor, loyalty and love in mid-19th-century Japan.

“We believe our world-renowned independent films, critically acclaimed Asia Extreme catalog and future branded labels are a great match with Genius's already impressive catalog,” said Tony Borg, president of Tartan.

The announcement comes just as Tartan's theatrical arm, Tartan Films, begins the theatrical release of its two most anticipated films of 2006, The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, Romania's 2006 Oscar entry, and the final film in Oldboy filmmaker Park Chanwook's “Vengeance Trilogy,” Lady Vengeance.

Lazarescu opens in New York April 26 and Lady Vengeance opens in New York April 28.

“The [Tartan] titles represent another example of the ever increasing quality of content distributed by Genius through the expanded infrastructure we created to handle major titles from TWC. With our newly implemented Vendor Managed Inventory system, we anticipate even greater success for Tartan's library,” said CEO Trevor Drinkwater.

Genius, which has released TWC films Derailed and Wolf Creek on DVD, is scheduled later this year to street Hoodwinked, Mrs. Henderson Presents, Transamerica (with Golden Globe winner Felicity Huffman), The Matador and Scary Movie 4

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