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Kino, Lorber Merge

By : Billy Gil | Posted: 09 Dec 2009

Hidden Treasures, the holding company of Lorber HT Digital, the film distribution company run by industry veteran Richard Lorber, has acquired international film distributor Kino International Films, forming new company Kino Lorber.

Lorber and Kino International president Donald Krim will now serve as co-presidents of the combined venture. Each label will retain its own name on future releases from the entity. Each principal will remain responsible for acquisitions for his own label. Sublabels released by the two companies will remain intact as well — Lorber’s include Lorber Films (theatrical), Alive Mind (documentary) and Knitting Factory Entertainment (music), while Kino also releases a small label called Kimstim. However, the focus is on Lorber Films and Kino, as Alive Mind will continue to be released by E1 Entertainment and Knitting Factory by Sony’s RED Distribution.

“The concept of this is while some of the distribution will be centralized, the labels, which have established their own identities, will remain and go on,” Krim said.

For Kino Lorber, Krim will head traditional distribution operations, while Lorber will handle business development and corporate strategy. Staffing will remain intact, at about 20 employees between the two companies, which will now both operate out of Kino’s office in New York.

Krim and Lorber said the new venture will expand the niche audiences built by the individual labels and will allow for more aggregated content moving forward, with a focus on selling to consumers digitally, directly and through other online retailers.

“The reality is the retailers are going to continue to be outlets for the [major] studios,” Lorber said. “They have to be — shelf space is limited. There are very loyal retailers that Don and I have been working with for years … but we see a value in being direct to the consumers.”

Each of the two main labels plans to release six to eight films theatrically and together more than 60 titles digitally and on home video annually. Kino Lorber’s upcoming release slate includes, from Lorber Films, Alexander Sokurov’s The Sun and Swiss Oscar entry Home, starring Isabelle Huppert; Kino’s early 2010 theatricals include Israeli Oscar submission Ajami and a newly restored version of Metropolis, the latter of which will be released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc.


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