Aug 9, 2011

London Riots Strike at Indie Distributors

I don't usually talk politics here... because it's a movie blog, but I was really saddened to read the following on Twitter this morning from independent LGBT film distributors and friends of the site Peccadillo Pictures.

Our warehouse in Enfield was burnt down last night. All our stock/catalogue/films have been destroyed. We're devastated. Bracing ourselves.
There has been much horrible news from the ongoing London riots, and obviously in the grand scheme this isn't on the same scale as the attempted murder that several people have been arrested for. That said, it's a low and a deep blow for independent cinema. What will this cost Peccadillo? What will it mean for their upcoming releases (which include one of the best new films of the year; Tomboy, and one of my favourite films of all time; Heavenly Creatures on DVD and BR for the first time)? What will it mean for the people who work at Pecca? What will it mean for their presence at London and other film festivals? What will it mean, ultimately, for filmgoers? Peccadillo don't release huge moneymakers, their titles don't make them major players who can easily absorb something like this.

And it gets worse... I now understand that this warehouse wasn't just housing Peccadillo's stock, but that for Terracotta (one of the UK's leading distributors of Asian films, about to launch a new range, and also friends of the site), Masters of Cinema, Arrow Video (whose special editions of some really nasty horror titles have been a godsend) and Guerilla Films, to say nothing of many record companies. It's a horrible and depressing result of a pointlessly destructive group of vandals (don't give them the figleaf of political respectability), and it worries me what it will mean for these companies and for their staff.

I want to extend 24FPS' sympathy and best wishes to all at Peccadillo, Terracotta, MOC, Arrow Video and Guerilla, and to anyone else affected.

I may well have more on this as it develops.

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