Dreamachine stalled in sales arena


LONDON -- Just three months after it was announced, a substantial part of the dream is over for Dreamachine, the much-touted merger between U.K.-based Hanway Films and Paris-centered Celluloid Dreams.

Both famous names -- two of the best-known indie sales and finance houses on the festival and market circuit -- said Friday that they will drop the Dreamachine moniker in the sales arena and "run as separate businesses with dedicated first-cycle sales and acquisition teams in London and Paris."

In short, the announcement means that marketgoers, film financiers and buyers will have Hanway and Celluloid Dreams back in their BlackBerrys when hunting for fresh projects.

But Dreamachine, the nascent banner established by the two in April, will continue to exist as a jointly owned VOD operation and library acquisition unit.

The banner will continue to license the combined 500-title library, run by director of library sales Alessandro Raja. It also will acquire library assets and embark on its own VOD platform and VOD rights aggregation business, the parties said.

The management team of Philippe Aigle, Tim Haslam and Peter Watson will implement Dreamachine's strategic plans for new media, digital and catalog distribution.

Celluloid Dreams chief Hengameh Panahi and Hanway founder Jeremy Thomas will continue as joint chairmen of Dreamachine.

Said Watson: "Together, we are building a library aggregation and VOD business. We've just completed the joint acquisition of two catalogs from Peter Weir and Merchant Ivory, and we're in negotiations to add three more. We will now advance our plans for a branded VOD platform."

Haslam said that movies created at both Hanway and Celluloid Dreams will likely end up as offerings on Dreamachine's VOD platform and as a source of material for the growing library operation.