In Memoriam: Samuel Hadida, Pioneer of Film Distribution

by Frank Rousseau January 8, 2019
Producer and distributor Samuel Hadida

Samuel Hadida,  the highly regarded French producer and distributor who passed away unexpectedly on November 26 was a true film buff. He and his brother Victor owned and grew Metropolitan FilmExport, founded in the early 1980s with their father David, into the leading French distributor of American indie fare.  As such they were leading shapers of the global market for films.

In producing circles, Samuel was best known for his collaborations with director Tony Scott on True Romance  (the first film produced from a Quentin Tarantino script) and Domino, his collaboration with Constantin Film on the Resident Evil pictures, his Silent Hill productions, and more recently, his work with Claude Lelouch on Un+Une  and The Best Years (the upcoming sequel to the Oscar winning A Man And A Woman).

Passionate, joyful and one-of-a-kind, Samuel Hadida was a well-known and much liked figure on the international film scene, ever present at all film markets and festivals for decades. Metropolitan has long been recognized for its strong support of top directors (including Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, Terence Malick, Tony Scott, Roger Avary, Christophe Gans and Claude Lelouch among others), and its top marketing and original release campaigns that were often picked up by other distributors around the world.  Metropolitan was also one of the first international distributors to invest in Asian talent, such as John Woo and Jackie Chan.

The company built strong relationships with major film production companies through long term output arrangements over the years with such distinguished companies as New Line Cinema (encompassing the enormously successful Lord Of The Rings trilogy), Lionsgate (encompassing the Hunger Games pictures), and DreamWorks.  Metropolitan also licensed top commercial and critically-acclaimed films from diverse licensors throughout the industry.

While grieving the unexpected loss of his beloved brother, Victor Hadida said, “Samuel’s passion and humor were contagious and his larger than life presence will be profoundly missed. We are committed to honoring his life by bringing to fruition the numerous development projects under the Davis Films banner that Samuel so loved as well as the upcoming productions that were so important to him.”

Samuel’s son Laurent, who worked alongside his father for almost a decade, added, “The loss is incommensurable, but as a family business we’ll make sure to honor his energy and vigorous cinematic beliefs in the years to come, staying in the path he carved for us. This is our legacy.”

In addition to Victor and Laurent, Samuel is survived by his wife, Maryse Claire, their two grown daughters, Audrey and Aurelie, and one granddaughter, Sasha.