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ART, COMMERCE IN DISTRIB MIX.

AMSTERDAM A shakeout among independent distributors in Holland has put a little excitement into the normally staid Benelux circuit.

The commotion centers around RCV Film Distribution, a minor player until a couple of years ago, when it began to freely cross between arthouse and mainstream pics with the likes of "The English Patient," "Seven Years in Tibet" and "Scream."

Industry vet Sanfu Maltha, a former Polygram exec and till recently RCV's president, served up success with this recipe, boosting the distrib into fifth place among Holland's major players.

Maltha left the company in April after a disagreement with RCV owner, giant Dutch publisher VNU, and despite releasing Universal/Polygram's "Notting Hill," RCV has dropped down into sixth place.

Paradiso Entertainment, a new subsid of the Belgian company of the same name, plans to release up to 10 films a year from arthouse to mainstream. Its release of "Rush Hour" has put it in seventh place, and the company's acquisition of "The Blair Witch Project," set for an October release, is likely to give RCV an even harder run to keep its standing.

"I fight as hard for every small arthouse film as I do for a commercial release," says managing director Caroline van Liefland about the company's strategy.

Dirk De Lille, the new exec VP for RCV Entertainment and managing director of RCV Film Distribution who just arrived from Warner Bros., says he's not getting bogged down with labels. "We'll be looking at U.S., European, arthouse and mainstream. A lot of arthouse crosses over these days anyway, so it's not wise to specify quantities," he says.

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Title Annotation:RCV Film Distribution, Netherlands
Comment:ART, COMMERCE IN DISTRIB MIX.(RCV Film Distribution, Netherlands)
Author:Edmunds, Marlene
Publication:Variety
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EUNE
Date:Oct 4, 1999
Words:267
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