Tuesday, September 01, 2009

ADV Films Shuts Down - Section 23 Films Takes Over Title Distribution

Hot off the wire via ANN:

"A.D. Vision has announced that it is shutting down after transferring its assets to several other companies that will continue its operations. AEsir Holdings has acquired selected programming from ADV's film library along with other intellectual property. The SXION 23 (Section23 Films) home video distribution company will assume account servicing and distribution operations for AEsir's assets. Valkyrie Media Partners has acquire 100% of ADV's Anime Network television unit, while Seraphim Studios has ADV's Amusement Park Media production unit.

Former ADV Films staffer Chris Oarr has notified ANN that several former staffers have been hired by SXION 23 and the other companies.

Update: All of the new companies are officially based in Houston, the home of A.D. Vision. SXION 23's business filing was dated on May 20, while AEsir Holdings, Valkyrie Media Partners, and Seraphim Studios were filed eight days later on May 28. SXION 23, Valkyrie Media Partners, and Seraphim Studios share the same address in western Houston, 8 miles (13 kilometers) from A.D. Vision. Sentai Filmworks, another business entity for which A.D. Vision and Amusement Park Media handled distribution and production, is also located in western Houston."

What is it about September? Anime companies always fail in September. Well folks, it's not like we didn't see this coming. We're digesting the info, I'll have more on this in a few hours.

Update: John Ledford comments in the official announcement:

"We believe the actions we initiated and completed provided the same or more value to the Company's secured lender and its programming licensors while giving other key stakeholders such as employees and customers some potential value or the reasonable probability of realizing value."

I'm not sure what that means. As of 3:pm EST today all e-mail addresses at ADV HQ are bouncing. I'm going to try to make a few calls later this afternoon and see if I can get anymore details. More later.

UPDATE: Just got off the phone with Mike Baliff, formerly of ADV Films who is now heading up Sales and Marketing at the new company Section 23 Films. Section 23 has acquired all of ADV's former licenses and most of the staff (including Chris Oarr, Destiny, Michelle, everyone formerly at ADV that mattered), and is picking up distribution of all former ADV titles, so the DVD's will remain available and our orders will just be processed and filled by the new company. That means the changeover will be pretty much transparent to you guys. This includes pre-order items in the pipeline but not yet released. They will still be coming out, and the schedule will not change. We'll be updating our catalog over the next few days to reflect Section 23 as the new distributor of ADV's (former) titles. I also think it's worth mentioning that John Ledford is not part of the new company. Thanks very much to Mike for calling me personally to walk us through the changeover. Mike and I go back a long way, maybe 10 or 11 years, and I feel like ADV's former line of products could not have fallen into better hands.

UPDATE: Chris MacDonald over at ANN has written an editorial regarding what happened:

"So really, what was announced today? While the details will come out in the next few days, it's pretty obvious that it's not much more than a corporate restructuring that moves intellectual assets away from a dysfunctional corporate entity that has credit problems and hostile shareholders."

That seems about right to me based on what we were told today, so he's pretty much on the mark. The only real question is who will be running things now and making decisions at the new companies - not that it really matters - but I'll have a few more feelings of my own regarding this in this weeks newsletter.


tenkenX6 said...

Well, Robert, just as you stated, this news should not come as a shock. All of us saw this one coming for a while now. I'm just glad Section 23 is getting ADV's catalog. I really don't want to go on another HUGE buying binge like when Geneon stopped releasing DVDs in the U.S. Er...at least I hope this doesn't transpire like the Geneon incident sometime in the future...

The Sounder said...

Hey Rob, I've been trying to get to Matt Greenfelt, do you know if he transferred into anywhere or if he left the business for good?

Lysander Daringer said...

If you don't mind, I have a question for you Rob. I run an adult anime community in Indianapolis, we host screenings at a theatre, help with asian festivals, and try to promote anime as best we can in Indianapolis. We have agreements with AnimeWorks, Funimation, and Nozomi to screen their titles, but we were still in the process of discussing things with ADV Films when they shut down. Thus far I have found no way at all to contact Section 23 to follow up on this and get permission to screen the old ADV titles- their website isn't up yet, nor can I find a phone number listed anywhere. I know that it's a long-shot, but since you seem to have contacts in the industry I was wondering if you might know of a way that we can contact them?

My email is listed on my profile. I really hope that you can help, or offer some advice, as I'm at a dead-end at the moment and the community could benefit a lot from this.

Robert said...

I'll PM this info.