Fortissimo enters into voluntary bankruptcy
by Vitor Pinto
- The sales company, active since 1991 with offices in Europe and Asia, has filed for bankruptcy in the Netherlands
International sales agent Fortissimo Films, which had offices in Amsterdam, London, Hong Kong and Beijing, has filed for voluntary bankruptcy under the laws of the Netherlands. This is the last chapter in the company’s history – a history that began in 1991 when the sales outfit was founded by programmers and producers Wouter Barendrecht and Helen Loveridge. Fortissimo was subsequently chaired by American Michael Werner after Barendrecht’s death in 2009 (Loveridge had already left the company in 2000).
The announcement was made via the company’s Facebook page (“With great sadness we are saying goodbye to a wonderful company with awesome colleagues and many memories”), where a link was posted to an article by Variety magazine.
Over 25 years, Fortissimo became well known in international sales circles, contributing to the international spotlight shone upon several Asian arthouse filmmakers, such as Wong Kar-Wai, Tsai Ming-Liang and Brillante Mendoza, whilst also keeping an eye on emerging talents from Europe and the Middle East.
Besides his role at Fortissimo, Werner also served as executive producer or co-producer on several other features, such as John Cameron Mitchell’s Shortbus, the Dutch-US drama Mysterious Skin and Tian Zhuangzhuang’s Springtime in a Small Town. More recently, Fortissimo’s catalogue included titles such as Alex van Warmerdam’s Schneider vs Bax [+see also:
interview: Alex van Warmerdam
film profile], and The White King [+see also:
film profile] by Alex Helfrecht and Jörg Tittel.