Tartan closed for business

Michael McCaskey mccaskem at georgetown.edu
Sun Jun 29 09:11:51 EDT 2008

This is disheartening news. I looked up Hamish McAlpine, and he seems to have been involved in producing a lot of (often awful) pictures outside of Tartan, including The Ted Bundy Story (2002). Most recently he produced Funny Games (2007), which I think is a Warner picture. Were such other ventures possibly a factor in the decline of the fortunes of Tartan?

Michael McCaskey

----- Original Message -----
From: Sharp Jasper <jasper_sharp at hotmail.com>
Date: Sunday, June 29, 2008 6:53 am
Subject: Tartan closed for business

> This might not come as a surprise to some list members, but sad 
> news nonetheless, given how Tartan were one of the most active 
> companies distributing Japanese films in Britain over the past ten 
> years, responsible for among other things, the releases of Battle 
> Royale and Ring.
> Jasper Sharp
> Tartan closed for business
> McAlpine breaks news to London staff
> LONDON - U.K. distrib Tartan Films has finally shuttered.
> Sources told Variety that Tartan employees found the London office 
> doors closed Thursday June 26 and were then informed later in the 
> day by Tartan topper Hamish McAlpine the company was closed for 
> business. 
> Speculation over the future of Tartan has been rife for several 
> months.The distrib was believed to be in takeover talks with David 
> Bergstein of
> the Capco Group, the firm that owns ThinkFilm, a stake in I.M. 
> Global as
> well as the U.K.'s Capitol Film and has itself been plagued by 
> rumors of
> financial troubles, for much of last year before negotiations 
> broke down
> following disagreements over Tartan's financial worth.
> Last October Tartan announced it had received a cash injection of £3
> million ($6.2 million) in the form of a convertible loan from a 
> privateinvestor and also had restructured its Brit operation, with 
> managingdirector Laura De Casto ankling. The company's theatrical 
> and home
> entertainment departments, previously run out of separate London 
> offices, were also merged into one entity based at Tartan's head 
> office.Tartan USA, the company's U.S. arm, announced at this 
> year's Cannes that it was being foreclosed. Film print and 
> advertising financing company Palisades Media Corp. has since 
> bought the U.S. rights to its library.
> Those moves now appear to have only offered temporary respite from 
> a downward turn of fortune for McAlpine, who founded Tartan in 
> 1982. The 
> company subsequently expanded by launching sub-labels such as 
> Tartan 
> Terror and Tartan Asia Extreme. Distrib arguably became the home 
> for genre fare and edgy, foreign-language pics, especially from 
> Asia. No official comment has been made yet by Tartan execs as to 
> what the
> future holds for the company although it seems likely that a team of
> liquidators and accountants will be brought in to assess the company's
> assets and sell them off.
> Midnight Eye
> www.midnighteye.com
> _________________________________________________________________
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> http://video.msn.co.jp/rvr/default.htm

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