Associated Film Distribution

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Associated Film Distribution (officially known as Associated Film Distribution, Inc.) was founded in 1978 by British film producers (and siblings) Lew Grade from ITC Entertainment and Bernard Delfont from EMI Films, to release films produced by both studios in the United States and Canada. Prior to the formation of AFD, ITC-produced films were released by United Artists Pictures, Avco Embassy Pictures Corporation (later known as Embassy Films Associates), Columbia Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures and 20th Century-Fox Film Corporation (now 20th Century Studios) in the United States and Canada. ITC also had their own international film distribution unit, ITC Film Distributors Ltd., to release their films internationally. EMI-produced films were released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Universal Studios, 20th Century-Fox (now 20th Century Studios) and United Artists in the United States and Canada prior to the formation of AFD. EMI was also a partner in the international film distribution company, Columbia/EMI/Warner Distributors, with Columbia and Warner Bros., to distribute their films internationally. In 1980, AFD suffered financial losses from the films Can't Stop the Music, Raise the Titanic, and Saturn 3. Universal would purchase the distribution rights to all AFD films that were still in production at the time, while films that had their production complete would still be released by AFD themselves. Currently, most ITC-produced films are owned by ITV, with home media rights licensed to Shout! Factory, while most EMI-produced films are owned by StudioCanal, with home media rights licensed to Lionsgate Home Entertainment and Anchor Bay Entertainment. Walt Disney Pictures owns the rights to The Muppet Movie (an ITC-produced film) due to their purchase of The Muppets franchise from The Jim Henson Company. Universal continues to own the theatrical rights to films produced by both ITC and EMI that were released by the company.

Logo (December 21, 1978-December 1983)

Visuals: On a black background, there are two rays of orange light etch itself into an abstract bubble letter AFD. Before the F is finished etching, the light zooms back into a solid line AFD. The logo flashes gold and turns golden metallic. A light blue ray of light places itself under the AFD, and the light zooms back to a solid blue, "Associated Film Distribution". Each letter sparkles and the whole logo shines afterwards.

Technique: Backlit cel animation.


  • A twangy six-note synth going lower, and then progressively higher each time, then a droning synth that turns into some weird alien like warbling.
  • A funky synth disco tune, with a descending synth tone for the text zooming out and once again at the end. This only appears on Can't Stop The Music as a custom fanfare.
  • Otherwise, it is silent or has the opening theme of the film.

Audio Variant: On the 1999 Artisan Entertainment DVD release of Saturn 3 (1980), the music from the 1987 ITC Entertainment "Gold Diamonds" logo is used, due to a reverse-plaster error.


  • Appears on The Jazz Singer (1980 version), Can't Stop the Music, Borderline, Saturn 3 and the UK widescreen DVD release of Raise the Titanic.
  • It also appeared on the original American release, 1980 Magnetic Video VHS, Betamax and Laserdisc releases, 1981 RCA SelectaVision CED release and 1984 CBS/Fox Video VHS release of The Muppet Movie, while current prints have the Muppet Studios and the Jim Henson Pictures logos plastered over this logo.
  • May have appeared before the Universal Pictures logo on US release prints of Bad Boys, Tender Mercies, Sophie's Choice, On Golden Pond and The Dark Crystal among others. Foreign prints of these films will instead have either the Cinema International Corporation logo, the United International Pictures logo or local distributors' logo depending on the film and/or the country.
  • On Blu-ray, this can also be seen on the Shout Factory releases of Can't Stop the Music, Saturn 3, the Scorpion Releasing BDs of Inside Moves, Hard Country, Killer Fish, the StudioCanal BDs of The Jazz Singer (1978), as well as the Second Sight and Severin Films releases of The Changeling.