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Amaya is arts and music to the ear.

"We may be small-but we're effective!" So said Helen Asquith, director of international sales and co-productions for newly formed Amaya Distribution, of her eight-person office. Literally all of Amaya's product is new.

"We have established a good reputation with international broadcasters, working closely with the U.K.'s BBC and Channel Four, France's La Sept, Japan's NHK, the U.S. 'WNET and Germany's ZDR - all because of our high quality product. Amaya's artistic and technical point of view has placed us amongst the leaders in the music and art niche marketplace," enthused Asquith.

"Amaya has two main programming divisions of activity: music and arts, which might include dance and stage drama; and science and nature, which is comprised mostly of documentaries, on the theme of discovering the world." Although the Jacques Cousteau library is their main property, Asquith plans to develop the latter area, by bringing in more international co-production partners.

Asquith is looking forward to having a good MIP. "We are offering our music and arts catalogue and naturally, would like to acquire new titles immediately." In addition, Amaya has done 50 productions in the last 15 months.

Asquith is also excited about two operas that are being filmed at the Kirov Theatre in St. Petersburg, on high definition TV by Japanese co-producer NHK: Mussorgsky's Khovanshchina, which is co-produced by their sister company, Cameras Continentales, and Tchaikovsky's Queen of Spades. Amaya handles TV distribution rights for both productions.

Other product includes Yo-Yo Ma at Tanglewood, a Third Eye Production for the BBC/ICM Artists Video, in association with the U.S. cable network, The Arts and Entertainment Network; Five Dances by Martha (Graham), which was recorded in November at the National Opera Theatre in Paris; and the Welsh National Opera production of Debussy's only opera, Pelleas et Melisande, which is a co-production between Cameras Continentales, the BBC, ZDF and La Sept.

"We are also co-financing an HDTV film on Miro, the painter, which will be shot in Spain. Funding will also come from Spanish TV and an HDTV consortium, and will be independently produced by Channel Films," added Asquith.

Amaya Distribution was founded in May of 1990, with the music and arts division launched in May of 1991.
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Publication:Video Age International
Article Type:Company Profile
Date:Apr 1, 1992
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