Criterion and Janus Films Sell to Indian Paintbrush Founder Steven Rales

Indian Paintbrush founder Steven Rales has purchased Criterion and Janus Films.

The mission and leadership of the companies will not change following the private transaction.

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Screen Daily was first to report the news of the sale. “We have grown our brands and audience with dedication to a set of values reflected in the films we release, the way we release them, and the way we conduct our business with our valued partners around the world,” said Criterion and Janus Films president Peter Becker told the outlet. “We are excited to continue that legacy and pursue new opportunities now available through this relationship.”

Janus Films was founded in 1954 by Bryant Haliday and Cyrus Harvey, Jr., and has since become the preeminent distributor of international classic films in the United States. Recent films include “Drive My Car,” “Evil Does Not Exist,” “EO” and “The Beast.” On Monday, Sideshow and Janus films acquired all North American rights to Payal Kapadia‘s “All We Imagine as Light,” the first Indian film to screen in official competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 30 years.

Janus Films serves as the sister distribution arm of Criterion, which specializes in high-end titles and premium home video releasing, selling classic films to cinephiles. Founded in 1984, Criterion pioneered the letterbox format for widescreen films, providing bonus features, special editions, soundtracks, multi-disc sets and definitive versions of classics.

Rales’ Indian Paintbrush is a film production company that has produced and financed all of Wes Anderson’s films since 2007. It launched Galerie, led by Andy Shapiro, in November 2023 as an immersive film club that combines movie collections, original videos, writings, live screenings and discussions.

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