The closely watched case of Rhythm and Hues, an Oscar-winning visual effects studio, which filed for bankruptcy protection last month, has come to an end.
The studio was purchased by an Indian buyer, a company tied to the visual effects and animation producers Prana Studios, the LA Times reports. The deal still has to get court approval, but if that happens, it will mark the end of the long and drawn out auctioning off of Rhythm and Hues, whose financial problems have gradually come to symbolize the struggles of an entire industry. The deal is also part of a growing trend of Indian companies gaining influence in Hollywood’s post-production sector. India's Reliance MediaWorks last year joined China's Galloping Horse film and TV company to acquire the Venice-based Digital Domain, the studio co-founded by "Avatar" director James Cameron.
Last month, Rhythm and Hues filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing foreign film tax subsidies and a falloff in feature film work from its major clients as some of the contributing factors. After the studio was put up for auction, Prana Studios beat out several competing bids, including those of Prime Focus, which has a large operation in Hollywood; Psyop, a production and design firm; and a company affiliated with the president and principal investor in China Lion, the film distribution business which has an office in L.A. Upon completion of the sale, Prana will have to assume responsibility for Rhythm and Hues’s $16 million total debt to Universal Studios and 20th Century Fox.