Artisan Entertainment

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Artisan Entertainment was a privately-held independent movie studio that since 2003 has been owned by Lions Gate Entertainment. At the time of its acquisition Artisan had a library of thousands of films developed through acquisition, original production, and production and distribution agreements.

The company owns the home video rights to the film libraries of Republic Pictures, Vestron, and Carolco Pictures. They also own Family Home Entertainment (FHE), and its motion picture subdivision, FHE Pictures.

Artisan's releases include Requiem for a Dream, Killing Zoe, The Blair Witch Project, Novocaine, and Startup.com.

History

Artisan, unlike most movie studios, has their roots in the home video industry. Artisan Entertainment began its life in 1984 as International Video Entertainment (IVE). IVE was primarily a home video distributor known for its selection of B movies. In the late 1980s, the company branched into film distribution for television.

After a name change to Live Home Video (later Live Entertainment) in 1990, the company began its alliance with Carolco Pictures when it offered to distribute their releases on home video. The company also acquired an independent family home video company, Family Home Entertainment.

In 1993, the company took over Vestron Pictures after its downfall; Vestron had been known best for Dirty Dancing, which had been the second highest-grossing independent film of all time. In 1995, when Carolco ceased to exist as a company, StudioCanal got full rights to their film library and thus Live (under a new deal with the French-based production company) continued to distribute Carolco's films for video.

In 1997, Live Entertainment decided to branch into film production, and in 1998, was rechristened Artisan Entertainment.

In May 2003, Artisan and Microsoft jointly announced the first release of a high definition DVD, Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Extreme Edition). The release was a promotion for the Windows Media version 9 format; it could only be played on a personal computer with Windows XP. Artisan had released the movie in 2002 on D-VHS.

After Lions Gate Films agreed to acquire Artisan in 2003, video releases that had been with Artisan are now under the Lions Gate banner.

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