UK-based indie production and distribution company Bohemia Media will shift away from theatrical releases and expand its focus on developing video-on-demand projects in new plans set following the departure of its head of distribution Delphine Lievens.
The company, which aims to champion projects made by filmmakers from under-represented and marginalised groups, will cut back its planned theatrical releases from twelve to six per year. Lievens — who joined Bohemia Media from Gower Street Analytics in November 2021 — will leave the company in September.
In a statement shared on Twitter, Lievens said: “Last week I found out that I am being made redundant from my current role, due to scaling back on theatrical releases in the current uncertain climate. As (I think?) the only WOC to hold a Head of Distribution role in the UK, this has been pretty heartbreaking for me.”
Speaking with Leak Herald about the strategical shift and Lievens’s exit, Bohemia Media co-founder Phil Hunt said: “Our goal was to make a dozen movies in the past year so we took Delphine on to handle that, but we only released half that number. And half that number cannot support a full-time job as head of theatrical distribution.”
Hunt added that while Bohemia Media moves further into the VoD business, the company will also aim to increase its investment in developing its own projects.
“We only did six films in the last year because we couldn’t find enough projects in the market that promote independent voices and new talent that justify the huge expense of going theatrical. I’ve looked at all the stuff we were hoping to do and have done the numbers on and we’re looking at a loss of £20-30,000,” he said.
“There just aren’t the films out there. So what we’re doing is investing more in development to bring those projects to the screen ourselves.”
Bohemia Media’s UK distribution credits include the 2019 Sundance winner Clemency and the 2020 documentary Rebel Dread. The company’s latest project, Queen of Glory, will be released theatrically on August 26.