Exclusive: Journeyman in talks for Mercury Media slate

London-based Journeyman Pictures is in the process of taking the rights to roughly 75% of titles from Mercury Media International, following the liquidation of the UK indie distributor. (Pictured: Mercury Media founder Tim Sparke)
August 19, 2015

London-based Journeyman Pictures is in the process of acquiring the rights to roughly 75% of Mercury Media International’s library titles, following the liquidation of the UK indie distributor.

Journeyman MD Mark Stucke told realscreen that the company has contracted with London liquidators Anthony Batty and Co. for the distribution rights to a large number of films from Mercury Media International, which had a slate of about 124 titles.

Mercury’s closing comes almost a year after Brighton- and Hong Kong-based indie distributor Electric Sky and and its sister companies Electric Sky Productions and BTV Post were placed in administration. DCD Rights in January acquired the companies’ library of 253 hours of content across 50 titles.

CEO Tim Sparke, who founded Mercury in 2000, stepped back from day-to-day responsibilities in 2013, with Nick Ware boarding the company as acting MD.

Though it is unclear exactly when Mercury closed operations, Stucke notes that the official liquidation date on record is August 13, 2014.

He says Journeyman was approached shortly after that date by various rights holders, but started talks to acquire library rights only in December. The liquidator penned a Formal Notice of Assignment this past June, after which Journeyman reached out to all rights holders to offer continued representation.

The Finders Keepers distributor has so far secured the rights to titles including The Four Year PlanBhopaliGirlfriend in a ComaScientists Under Attack and Waco: The Rules of Engagement.

Stucke says he expects to acquire about 75% of Mercury Media titles, and that discussions are ongoing. About five former Mercury documentaries have found new homes elsewhere.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news editor at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joined the RS team in 2015 with experience in journalism following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and with communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.