As a long standing independent player in Australia’s DVD and film industry, Siren Visual is committed to releasing provocative, genre-defining film and documentary titles. Our broad catalogue covers the breadth of arthouse and classic cinema, historical and current-event documentaries as well as a variety of anime. Not limited by style or genre Siren champions dynamic, unequivocal and often unapologetically unique releases. Actively supporting Australian screen culture is a key focus for Siren, regularly bringing to light works that would otherwise go unseen in our country.
Founder and managing director Nigel Rennard originally began Siren in 1987 as a music distribution company. As the company grew so too did its scope with the addition of video distribution in 1994.
A full service distribution company, Siren managed labels such as Manga UK, Madman Entertainment, and Chinatown Video. Siren also undertook acquisition of its own titles and was the first company responsible for bringing the works of John Woo, Jet Li, Jackie Chan and the Astro Boy series to the Australian home entertainment market.
The explosion of the Pokemon franchise, licensed in 1998, propelled the company to become one of the largest independent distributors in Australia, winning the Australian Video Retailers Association best independent distributor awards in both 1999 and 2000.
With the advent of DVD in the early 2000’s and its explosion into the market, Siren repositioned itself as a specialist licensing company. Distribution was outsourced to Shock Records, allowing a more concentrated operational structure focusing solely on acquisitions.
Between 2001 and 2006, Siren steadily increased its operations. Partnerships were developed with a network of talented filmmakers and artists, forging excellent relationships with film production and licensing companies world-wide.
At the beginning of 2007 Siren parted ways with Shock, teaming up with independent sales and distribution company Gryphon Entertainment to continue to expand the business.
Throughout the years Siren’s core vision has stayed the same: releasing provocative, genre-defining film and documentary titles. To that end the current catalogue includes an informative range of world-class documentaries and ground-breaking films.
Documentary collections on the world's political hot spots, such as Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe, sit side-by-side with historical dissertations like The Vietnam War with Walter Cronkite, which provides in-depth analysis and information.
Siren Visual also introduced Richard Dawkins to Australian audiences with the release of a series of controversial and thought provoking documentaries exploring the notions of evolutionary biology and secular humanism. The documenatries proved to be hugely successful, leading to televsion broadcasts and an eventual tour of Australia by Richard Dawkins. With the release of these works, Siren cemented its place as the leading resource for rational thought documentaries in Australia.
Continuing to scout out the best in cinema, old and new, 2007 saw the Lazarus-like resurrection of the original midnight movie maker Alejandro Jodorowsky and his classics El Topo and The Holy Mountain. Another highlight was the surreal and disturbingly beautiful Taxidermia from Hungary.
As part of Siren’s commitment to Australian cinema 2007 also saw the release of two critically acclaimed documentaries: the Melbourne underground music exploration Sticky Carpet and the moving and personal tale of a graffiti writer in Jisoe.
In 2008 Siren continues to strengthen its stable of Australian productions with the release of Kriv Stender’s critical hit Boxing Day. This also sees a continuation of the limited screen runs of titles otherwise looked over for general release with the British chase-thriller London to Brighton and the powerful documentary The Devil Came on Horseback.
2009 saw Siren further expand it's range of anime, being the first company outside of Japan to release the experimental Genius Party and Genius Party Beyond collections. Documentaries were also important for Siren in 2009, with the critically acclaimed Bastardy and Lionel both nominated for AFI awards.
2010 sees Siren further developing a range of unique and exciting anime for the Australian market.
If you are a filmmaker or a company behind a challenging and provoking production, please contact us.
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