Fortissimo Films, the sales agent that has been in business since 1991 and has offices in Hong Kong, London, Amsterdam and Beijing, is entering into bankruptcy, Deadline has confirmed. The company has built up a library of films over the years including Shine A Light from Martin Scorsese, Mystery Train and Coffee And Cigarettes by Jim Jarmusch, Wong Kar Wai’s Chungking Express and documentaries including Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me, Sydney Pollack’s Sketches Of Frank Gehry, Julian Schnabel’s Berlin, Andrew Jarecki’s Capturing The Friedmans, Robert Kenner’s Food Inc. and Tamra Davis’ Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child, to name only a few of the hundreds of titles it has represented.
The company was founded by Wouter Barendrecht and Helen Loveridge in 1991 but really took off when American Michael Werner joined the company four years later. He headed up the company after Barendrecht’s death in 2009. (Loveridge exited the company in 2000). Werner, an American who specialized in the Asia-Pacific region, became a partner in the company and is well-known in international sales circles. He was a producer (exec or co) on such films as John Cameron Mitchell’s Shortbus, Patrick Stettner’s The Night Listener, the Dutch-American drama Mysterious Skin, and Tian Zhuangzhuang‘s Springtime In A Small Town, among others.
The company, which blazed a path for Asian and art house film, filed for bankruptcy yesterday in Amsterdam. When reached by Deadline, Werner (who lives in Hong Kong) had no comment.
The filing was first reported by sister publication Variety.