German Postproduction Giant CineMedia Files for Bankruptcy Protection

The group, controlled by Tele Munchen Group and Bavaria Film, is one of Europe's largest VFX companies.

COLOGNE, Germany – CineMedia, one of Germany's, and Europe's, leading postproduction companies, has filed for bankruptcy protection after failing to secure new credit lines to keep the group afloat.

The insolvency follows the bankruptcy filing of CineMedia's subsidiary CinePostproduction last week and comes as VFX houses around the world are struggling to find new business models to survive in the digital world.

CineMedia, controlled by Munich media conglomerates Tele Munchen Group and Bavaria Film, is very much an old-school postproduction company, with operations in all major German cities and hundreds of full-time employees. Like many VFX houses, the company has struggled as digital technology has lowered the entry barrier for small postproduction firms and profit margins were put under pressure.

In recent months, postproduction giants such as Digital Domain, which worked on Ender's Game, and Rhythm & Hues, a VFX Oscar winner for Life of Pi, have been forced into Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Last month, the Visual Effects Society released a white paper outlining the problems facing the industry and making several recommendations, including a proposal that the sector adopt alternative models to fixed-price bidding.