Criterion and its sister distribution arm Janus Films each have a new owner: Indian Paintbrush founder Steven Rales.

Rales has acquired both Criterion and Janus in a private transaction, IndieWire has learned according to two individuals, giving the home for classic and art house films a new leader.

However, as Screen Daily first reported, leadership, including Criterion and Janus Films president Peter Becker, is expected to remain in place, and the overall mission of both companies is not expected to change, per a source.

“We have grown our brands and audience with dedication to a set of values reflected in the films we release, the way we release them, and the way we conduct our business with our valued partners around the world,” Becker said in a statement to Screen. “We are excited to continue that legacy and pursue new opportunities now available through this relationship.”

Reps for Janus Films and Criterion did not immediately return IndieWire’s request for comment.

Rales’ Indian Paintbrush, which works closely on all of Wes Anderson’s films, also owns Galerie, an online film club and subscription service that provides access to films, essays, and live events all curated by a rotating group of storytellers. The company launched in November 2023 and has already recruited curators such as Anderson, Ethan Hawke, Mike Mills, Karyn Kusama, Pablo Larraín, and more.

Janus has always worked hand in hand with Criterion but also launched Janus Contemporaries last year to offer home-video releases of films that have their first streaming run on The Criterion Channel. Janus Films in partnership with Sideshow just this morning acquired a film out of Cannes, the Indian film playing in competition “All We Imagine As Light.”

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