James Flower the producer from Arrow Films has responded on another web forum (criterion org) in regards to Fran Simeoni leaving Arrow and also to post a reply in regards to THG involvement with Arrow Films and also in regards to Academy Label
In regards to THG
I previously mentioned on HDN and on other US and UK web forums some of what James has said below but you now can see a reply direct from James Flower who is employed by Arrow Films
This was the post from James Flower
Well, shucks, thanks for the kind words everyone; it's certainly a relief to see you all take the Twitter thread in the spirit in which it was intended, as opposed to some elsewhere who went straight to catastrophising and unwarranted cynicism. Then again, I'm not convinced there's anything that anyone could say to stop said persons from doing so!
Fran's departure is keenly felt on a personal level by all of us here (though we're all rooting for Radiance to be a huge success!), but for those of you speculating what effect it will have on Arrow's releases to come: Fran would be the first to say that he's not done much of the way of hands-on producing at Arrow for quite a while now, at least since I joined in 2018. Indeed, much of his desire to set up Radiance is wanting to get back to being more hands-on in a way that he's not been able to in recent years, following the rapid growth of Arrow as a company and ceding production responsibilities to colleagues like myself, Michael Mackenzie and Jasper Sharp while he took on more of an upper management position. So if you've enjoyed our releases recently already, that baseline standard isn't going anywhere as the same producers (myself included) as before will be working just as hard.
In terms of acquisitions and the general tone/approach of Arrow's catalogue going forward, I've seen a ton of speculation about whether this will immediately change with Fran's leaving, in addition to the long-standing questions about whether the THG acquisition has affected our choice of titles. I can safely say a big fat "no" in both cases - Fran has overseen deals on a substantial number of films we'll be releasing over the next two to three years, on top of which Kevin Lambert is still very much involved and is every bit as knowledgeable and savvy.
With regards THG, they have zero involvement or say in our acquisitions and never have done.
The trend towards more commercial titles on the whole and the winding down of the Academy label pre-dates the THG deal and is more to do with Arrow now being a company of a certain size that requires a certain amount of profit to cover its overhead (again, even preceding THG) that means less commercial titles are inevitably going to be less frequent.
That doesn't mean we've dumped Academy-style releases altogether though, even if they're in the minority - for one, I'm currently working on a boxset of films by an acclaimed contemporary arthouse filmmaker that is very much within the Academy wheelhouse and I think will make a lot of people on this board happy. The way these things generally work is in cycles, based on whichever bunch of films from a certain deal we're currently working through - so for a while it may be Sony titles, or Toei titles, or Fortune Star titles, then it pivots to Universal titles, or Celestial titles, or MK2 titles, then we get another Sony deal, and another Toei deal, and the cycle begins anew... so basically, hang in there and if there isn't something you're interested in one month, or even for a few months, there will probably be something eventually. Ultimately we're just responding to what's available (not as much as you'd think), what interests us (a lot more than you'd think) and of course what sells well. While I am indeed largely focused on HK action titles at the moment (not entirely by choice, they're just incredibly demanding films to oversee and I'm the one who's become the in-house specialist by default!), there's plenty of variety to go around and I'll be across at least some of it. I'll never understand people (not referring to any posts here, more on Facebook etc) complaining about Arrow not releasing specific types of films anymore or having to change with the times; the amount of companies working in the sector has ballooned over the years and there's an extraordinary amount of choice out there. We can't possibly do all of the films so isn't it brilliant that there are plenty of other labels working hard at picking up the slack where we can't? I suppose in a way it's a backhanded compliment...
Anyway, tldr - Fran's left us an incredibly strong foundation over the last decade plus, and we hope everyone continues to follow us while we build upon that foundation, as well as iron out some of the issues we've had recently in terms of quality control. (Now waiting for someone to hysterically accuse me of "damage control" in 3, 2...)