Independent UK film and home entertainment label Network Distributing is affirming its commitment to classic British cinema by acquiring the rights to 450 British titles from Studiocanal, one of Europe’s leading film distribution and production companies. These titles include some of the most significant works from studios including Associated Talking Pictures, Ealing, London Films, British Lion, Associated British Picture Corporation and EMI. The agreement covers home entertainment rights including DVD, Blu-ray, DTO and iTunes. Many of the films will benefit from new transfers. The UK label will start releasing titles from April 2013.
Many of the films under license have never been seen since they were first shown in British cinemas. The collection includes rarities alongside more popular titles from the Ealing collection plus work from directors including Carol Reed, Lewis Gilbert, Cy Enfield, Charles Crichton and Michael Winner. Network Distributing hopes to redress the balance of appreciation for British cinema as a whole. Presented in their original aspect ratios and transferred from the best available materials, the titles will also be competitively priced to appeal to both the film-lover and casual collector. Forthcoming titles next year will include:
- Penny Paradise (Carol Reed)
- Midshipman Easy (Carol Reed)
- Escape (Basil Dean)
- The Impassive Footman (Basil Dean)
- The Man Who Haunted Himself (Basil Dearden)
- Edgar Wallace’s The Four Just Men (Walter Forde) and Flying 55 (Reginald Denham)
- Horrors of the Black Museum (Arthur Crabtree)
- Spanish Fly (Bob Kellett)
- Some People (Clive Donner)
- On the Fiddle (Sean Connery)
Commenting on the deal Tim Beddows, Network Distributing Managing Director said:
"We are delighted to have concluded this deal with Studiocanal. We are already a home to a large part of UK TV history and our deal with Studiocanal means that we can now start saying the same about our cinema library, which brings our range of British feature films to 1000 titles."
John Rodden, General Manager for Home Entertainment at Studiocanal said:
"The Studiocanal Films British Collection is one of the great treasures of Cinema. We’re very happy to extend our partnership with Network to make the rest of this hugely important collection available to the Great British Public in Home Entertainment. This deal will also enable us to accelerate its availability for international distribution."