Tartan closed for business

Sharp Jasper jasper_sharp
Sun Jun 29 06:53:51 EDT 2008

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 private
investor and also had restructured its Brit operation, with managing
director 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

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