Miramax Films Shut Down by Disney

Los Angeles, Jan 30 (DPA) Miramax Films, the art-house production company that produced Oscar winners such as "Shakespeare in Love", "The Piano" and "Chicago", has been closed down by the Walt Disney Company, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

Some 80 people in the company's New York and Los Angeles offices will lose their jobs as the result of the closure, but Disney planned to keep Miramax alive as a brand in name only, the report said.

Founded by brothers Bob and Harvey Weinstein in 1979, Miramax was a leading producer and distributor of independent film and is credited with taking independent cinema into the mainstream in the US.

It was famous for its successful Oscar campaigns and for launching the careers of directors such as Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith and Steven Soderbergh. The company was bought by Disney in 1993, and the Weinsteins left in 2005 after a slate of big budget films threw them into conflict with Disney managers.

Harvey Weinstein said he was nostalgic about the demise of the company and said the brothers would "love the opportunity" to buy back the name - an amalgam of their parents' names, Max and Miriam. "There isn't much in the world that would make our 83-year old mother happier."


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