Artisan Entertainment Inc., the independent distributor of motion pictures such as "The Blair Witch Project" and "The Last Emperor," filed to take the company public with a $140-million initial stock offering. The Santa Monica-based company did not say how many shares of common stock it plans to sell or for how much in the preliminary prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Those details are expected in future filings. Artisan has a library of more than 3,300 feature-length films and 3,400 other titles, for which it holds U.S. and Canadian home entertainment distribution rights. Artisan said it would use $16.1 million of the net proceeds from the offering to redeem notes due in 2004. The company said in the filing that it would record a $2.9-million extraordinary loss to reflect the early discharge of the notes. The remaining money from the IPO will be used for general corporate purposes, according to the prospectus. Artisan had $383.3 million in net sales and generated $15.7 million in net income, the filing showed. Mark Curcio, 40, has been the company's chief executive since July 1997. Merrill Lynch & Co., Bear, Stearns & Co. and ING Barings are the underwriters for the offering.