Curious Pictures Completes Buy Back

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New York's Curious Pictures and Minnesota-based Intelefilm announced yesterday that the production/animation house has been acquired by an ownership group headed by the shop's founders. Intelefilm acquired a controlling interest in Curious in 1999, but has since been divesting its production assets. Former sister company Chelsea Pictures was bought back from Intelefilm by management in January.

The Curious deal, valued at $5.1 million, cedes majority ownership of the company and its agency arm, DCode, to founding partners Susan Holden, Steve Oakes, David Starr and Richard Winkler. Venture capital firm Carl Marks & Co. will also have a stake in the company.

"In the end, they were not interested in what we were trying to do," says VP-executive producer Richard Winkler. "It ranged from being a distraction to being a non-necessary relationship, so we're looking forward to using all our brainpower on the business." Curious Pictures' roster includes directors David Kelley, Mo Willems, Chel White and Noble Jones, as well as partnerships with Swedish animation house Film Tecknarna and U.K. collective Tomato. "All the people who work here are an extremely important part of this event," adds Winkler. "We would have never thought of going through with this if we didn't have such a dependable team."

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