Former Kinowelt CEO Michael Kölmel is back in distribution business
by Birgit Heidsiek
- The German distributor has picked up a competition film in Cannes for his new company
The former Kinowelt CEO Michael Kölmel has started a new distribution company that has already caused a stir among German buyers in Cannes when he won the bidding war for the French competition entry Young and Beautiful [+see also:
interview: François Ozon
film profile] by Francois Ozon. With his untititled entity he acquired one of the hottest titles the German distributors were longing for on the Croisette.
"I founded our new distribution outlet in December," said Kölmel. As his partner he brought Dietmar Güntsche on board, a producer of the Munich-based independent production company Neue Bioskop. So far, the new distribution company in Leipzig operates under a working title.
Michael Kölmel and his brother Rainer are well-known in the international distribution world. The distributor duo were the first German distributors to gho public with their distribution company Kinowelt in May 1998 and built up a media conglomerate with around 1,000 employeees. In December 2001, Kinowelt had to file for bankruptcy but the Kölmel brothers were able to buy back their library and founded a new Kinowelt company in Leipzig that was successful. In 2008, the company was taken over by the Canal Plus-owned Studio Canal that changed its name from Kinowelt to Studiocanal.