The violent riots which have been sweeping through London for the past few days have caused irreparable damage to a large number of small businesses, and now it’s the turn of independent film distributors to suffer. A Sony/PIAS warehouse was burnt to the ground, taking with it a huge stockpile of DVDs owned by such companies as the British Film Institute, Artificial Eye (which has released movies from such directors as Kitano Takeshi, Kar-wai Wong and Krzysztof Kieslowski), Dogwoof Pictures (The Yes Men Fix The World; Age Of Stupid), the Metrodome Group (Rabbit Hole; Stake Land) and Revolver Entertainment (Exit Through The Gift Shop; Synecdoche, New York), to name but a few.
Fortunately no-one was hurt in the fire, but many of the companies affected will now only find it all the more difficult to stay afloat in an increasingly difficult marketplace for independent distributors of both cinematic and DVD releases. It isn’t just the British film industry which will suffer either, as music distributors PIAS are believed to have lost their entire inventory. Sadly, this is just one more in a long list of shameful events over three nights of pointless vandalism and destruction, with those suffering worst being the people and businesses caught in the middle of something they had nothing to do with.[via Bleeding Cool; Photograph: Chris Helgren/Reuters]