atlas international Film GmbH was founded in February of 1967 by Dieter Menz and with a corporate history of more than 47 years, it is one of the oldest film sales companies in the world. The company’s core business is the worldwide licensing of feature films, series and documentaries for all media.
atlas international represents more than 100 individual producers from all over the world. In the years since it was founded, atlas has made more than 12,000 license agreements with clients from all over the world. All contracts, availabilities, payments and materials are handled by a specialized computer software, developed and programmed by Stefan Menz. From sales and marketing to servicing and deliveries, all aspects of international program sales are handled by in-house specialists. This has given atlas the flexibility and fast response demanded by today’s competitive market.
atlas international is a member of the VDFE (German Film Exporters Association), was a long-time member company of IFTA (Independent Film & Television Alliance) and was a founding member of EFEX (Association of European Film Exporters) and of of EFEA (European Film Exporters Association). atlas attends five to six markets a year.
Dieter Menz, founder of atlas international Film GmbH, is a lawyer who comes from a film family that has been active in various areas of the film business for more than 85 years. His father Erich Menz opened his first own cinema in Berlin in 1927. He later became a director of cinemas owned by the massive UFA corporation before falling foul of the Nazi authorities. Subsequently, he started his own group of movie houses in 1934. After the war he went on to build cinemas in the city of Essen, which, until 1993, the Menz family owned and operated. Among these was the famous "Lichtburg", the biggest and probably best known cinema in Germany, at the time with a capacity of over 1.700 seats and managed by Ilse Menz, the mother of Dieter and Manfred.
In 1972, Manfred Menz, Dieter’s brother, founded “Marketing Film”, a company specializing in reedited versions of cinema blockbusters on Super 8 for home use. In its high time, just prior to the advent of homevideo, Marketing Film had Deals with Paramount Pictures and United Artist and was releasing blockbusters such as “Django”, “Death Wish”, “King Kong”, “Once Upon A Time In The West”, “Doctor Zhivago”, “Raiders of the lost Ark” or “Star Wars” on Super 8. In the 80ties, Manfred Menz turned Marketing Film to homevideo and continued its success with titles such as “First Blood”, “Rambo III”, “Apocalypse Now”, “Fort Apache – The Bronx”, “Nikita” or “Dawn of the Dead”. Manfred Menz sold his company in the 90ties and moved to Los Angeles where he lives and works as a successful photo-artist.
Apart from his sales activities, Dieter Menz has always been involved in film- and media politics. Since 1973, he has served as both chairman and member of the board of EXU (Export Union of German Film) and he is a long-time Chairman of the VDFE (Association of German Film Exporters).
As member of the German Producer’s Association, he has numerous times represented the Association at FIAPF meetings and has served in the German Oscar selection committee. For over 30 years he represented the German Filmexporters at the FFA (the Federal Film Subsidy Fund) where he was involved in the creation of various amendments to the German Film Subsidy Law. Starting early 2000 and for the following eight years, he served as board member of SPIO, the umbrella organization of all German Film Associations. When time permited, he lectured at the HFF (University for Film and Television) in Munich on international sales of feature films. In 1994, he co-founded EFEX, the Association of European Film Exporters e.V. and was elected its first president. From 2006 to 2009, Dieter Menz was a member of the board of directors of EFEA, the European Film Exporters Association in Paris.
Today, atlas international is headed by his sons, Philipp and Stefan Menz, both seasoned movie executives with professional carreers spanning close to 30 years. Philipp Menz, who started his career in the early 80ties, working for Peter Strauss' Movie Group in Los Angeles, was a member of the board of the European Exporters Association (EFEA) and currently serves as a member of the board of the German Film Exporters Associations (VDFE). In 2011, Philipp Menz was a member of the German Oscar selection committee.
Over the years, atlas international has changed from a "features only" foreign sales company to a multifaceted Media Company. Through worldwide contacts and aided by its long-standing experience in worldwide film sales as well as its intimate knowledge of the copyright situation in the international markets, atlas today sells features, TV-movies and series in all media, arranges production financing and structures co-productions for theatrical and television product. atlas international combines half a century of experience with a feel for the future of the entertainment industry.
In January 2014, atlas international Film GmbH was wholly acquired by Medient Studios, Inc. (OTCQB: MDNT), a US entertainment content creation company, headquartered near Savannah, Georgia.