Criterion lays off 20% of staff as part of ‘reorganization’ move

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Criterion laid off a number of employees as part of a corporate “reorganization” that took place on Wednesday, October 19.

Criterion Collection chairman Peter Becker told IndieWire the layoffs spanned multiple departments – and around 20% of the company, with 16 employees laid off out of a workforce of more than 80.

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“Yesterday was a sad day at Criterion,” Becker said via email. “We have had to part ways with a number of employees across multiple departments as part of a reorganization designed to prepare the business for the challenges and opportunities ahead, which are markedly different from those we had built ourselves to meet. in the past .”

He added that no further personnel changes were planned. “We spoke personally with everyone involved to express respect for the company and our gratitude for their work, of which we all remain very proud,” he said.

Criterion representatives declined to comment further on the departments specifically affected.

The Criterion Collection was founded in 1984 and went through a series of layoffs in 2013. According to the official website, Criterion is dedicated to publishing important classic and contemporary films from around the world in editions that offer the highest technical and award-winning original films. supplements. Criterion also launched its streaming service, Criterion Channel, in 2019. The service regularly features movies from its own vault as well as new monthly streaming picks and exclusive premieres. “Our goal is to create a sustainable service,” Becker told IndieWire at the platform’s launch. “We never had any particular growth objectives. I don’t think our motivation is fundamentally market-oriented.

Criterion’s parent company, Janus Films, releases foreign, independent, and restored films in theaters. “No matter the medium – from laserdisc to DVD, Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD to streaming – Criterion has maintained its pioneering commitment to presenting each film as its director intended it to be seen, in state-of-the-art restorations with designed to encourage repeat viewing and deepen the viewer’s appreciation of the art of cinema,” states the company’s mission statement.

Janus is also a Sideshow distribution partner for new releases, including last year’s Oscar-winning “Drive My Car.” This year, Janus and Sideshow acquired several films outside the festival circuit, including “Tori and Lokita” by the Dardenne brothers, the documentary “All That Breathes” and “EO” by Cannes winner Jerzy Skolimowski.

Additional reporting by Eric Kohn.

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