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Eric Liknaitzky

13 September 1951 to 19 June 2023

A South African film executive, who programmed for cinemas before moving into distribution, first with Artificial Eye and then Contemporary Films. Eric Liknaitzky was programmer for Cape Town’s Labia Cinema, helping to build a thriving picture house known for showcasing alternative films during the late 1970s. He emigrated to the UK in 1979, landing the role of manager of the Gate cinemas, before joining arthouse distributor Artificial Eye a year later, running its 16mm library department. Towards the end of the 1980s, he moved to Contemporary Films, the UK’s longest-running independent film distributor, taking over its reins in December 2008. He ensured Contemporary Films fulfilled its mission to ensure arthouse films, shorts and documentaries from all over the world were available to British audiences.

Read Eric Liknaitzky's Guardian obituary