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EXCLUSIVE: UK distributor Arrow Films is streamlining operations with the departure of long-time executives Tom Stewart and Jon Sadler.

Stewart has been Arrow Films acquisitions director since 2010, while Sadler has been marketing director since 2012. Both left the firm yesterday and arent being immediately replaced, I understand.

Stewart, a veteran of UK distribution firms including Metrodome, High Fliers and Fremantle, picked up movies including Gaspar Noés Cannes 2018 title Climax, Margot Robbie starrer Terminal and Gillies MacKinnons breakout Whisky Galore. Sadler, formerly of Metrodome, oversaw successful campaigns for the likes of Danish drama Love Is All You Need and the aforementioned Whisky Galore.

Stewart, who is exploring next moves in the business, told us that he wanted to “thank industry for their support” during his tenure and that he had “honestly loved the experience and was so very proud of my own personal achievements and being able to watch Arrow Films grow into the formidable company that it is today.”

The apparent streamlining comes as we understand from industry sources that Arrow will look to focus attention away from higher-risk, wider theatrical releases.

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The firm is an important local player in the arthouse, foreign language and UK indie space, releasing movies including Like Father, Like Son and The Hunt while current theatrical release Edie, starring Sheila Hancok, has taken $350,000 after three weeks. Upcoming feature releases include Aku Louhimies The Unkown Soldier. The company made Cannes 2017 title Blade Of The Immortal the widest UK opening for an arthouse foreign language title last year, releasing it on 111 screens, but theatrical returns were meagre.

Like many, the valued home ent specialist has needed to redirect attention after the industry-wide decline in physical revenues. In December, the firm launched Arrow TV, a curated SVOD service for its strong library of international TV series including Scandinavian crime dramas The Killing, Wallander, Borgen and The Bridge and French hit The Bureau.

In business since 1991, family-owned outfit Arrow operates in UK, Ireland, US and Canada and is overseen by CEO Alex Agran. It is a leading restorer of classics such as Cinema Paradiso, Donnie Darko and Hellraiser and has been big in the box set business. Todays news, however, is further indication of the challenges faced by distributors in an expensive and polarized UK market which has sadly seen a drastic decline in the arthouse space. Arrow was unavailable for comment.

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