The Criterion Collection is sold to new owner, along with Janus Films

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Indian Paintbrush acquires both Janus Films and Criterion in a private transaction: more details here.

Particularly for fans of physical media, ever since the Laserdisc days, The Criterion Collection has stood tall as a quality curator of cinema, and company that takes great care in presenting films. Founded all the way back in 1984, it was a pioneer in adding supplementary material to film releases, and was at the heart of the extra features boom that came with the early DVD era too.

Criterion releases have now arrived on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, with The Criterion Channel also available too in the US (no sign of that in the UK though, sadly).

Furthermore, it works alongside Janus Films, which oversees a library of titles and distributes them too. Janus Films has been going since the 1950s.

Now, the sister companies are under new ownership, it’s been revealed, thanks to a deal with the founder of production company and film financiers Indian Paintbrush.

Indian Paintbrush – which has backed, for instance, a lot of the work of Wes Anderson (since 2007’s The Darjeeling Limited), was set up by Steven Rales. And Rales has now acquired Criterion and Janus Films it’s been revealed, for an undisclosed sum. As it’s a private transaction too, there’s no requirement for the amount involved to be revealed.

There’s no suggestion that the operations of Criterion and Janus Films are going to be altered going forward, and early reports suggest that the direction of both firms will remain pretty much as they were.

If anything, it sounds as if this cements The Criterion Collection going forward, and who knows? Maybe we can get the expansion of The Criterion Channel here in the UK for a start, but we’re not holding our breath there.

A little bit more on the Criterion and Janus acquisition can be found here.

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