by Chris MaGee
Marty Gross, the Criterion Collection's Japanese film expert and head of Marty Gross Film Productions, sent me the heads up yesterday about yet another distributor specializing in Japanese and international content going out of business. This time around it's Central Park Media. The company's subsidiaries U.S. Manga Corps and Anime 18 had been the first to introduce such famed anime titles as Isao Takahata's "Grave of the Fireflies", Naoyuki Yoshinaga's "Mobile Police Patlabor", and Kunihiko Ikuhara's "Utena" to the North American market. The comanpy had faced waves of lay-offs in 2005 and 2006 and had not been releasing any new titles in the past year. Before filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy late last month Central Park Media apparently owed $1.2 million to its creditors.
Another sad loss for us fans of Japanese film, anime and culture here in North America. Now it's all the more important to get out there and support the small distributors that are still in business. Thanks again to Marty Gross and Anime News Network for the details on this.