Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Jewish Heritage Travel: Lack of Funding Closes Museum Housing Sarajevo Haggadah

Jewish Heritage Travel: Lack of Funding Closes Museum Housing Sarajevo Haggadah
When culture is cut in one area, it will soon affect others.  In this case, the "other" is the Sarajevo Film Festival and its Talent Campus; both symbols of the brave fight and spiritual resistance put up by the Bosnians in the face of the Serbian siege and bombardments which took place from 1992 to 1997 (?) or thereabouts.  The spiritual resistance which surpassed the armed warfare was fed by the deeply rooted multi-cultural environment that made Sarajevo able to survive.  No future.  Save Sarajevo!

Monday, June 7, 2010

You Can Find Me At IndieWIRE

I am thrilled that SydneysBuzz has found a home with IndieWIRE


Since Cannes, I have been blogging on IndieWIRE and have had such a great experience sharing and talking with colleagues Eugene Hernandez, Brian Brooks, Eric Kohn, my favorite L.A. friends Anne Thompson and Todd McCarthy. I am so honored to find myself installed in that legendary land of New York indies, a place I’ve always admired. My position here is so unique with no one specifically telling me what to write, or how to spend my working hours. I am free to follow my instinct. And I think the instinct has become engrained in me to follow the trends and developments of the international marketplace.

So come over to and see my blog on IndieWIRE


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Los Angeles' Favorite Italian

Eleonora Granata-Jenkinson, Los Angeles' film community's favorite Italian, long known and respected for her extensive and impressive knowledge of the film market in the US and abroad has been named by the Italian company FilmMaster to direct their new Los Angeles office. Americans met Eleonora Granata first when she handled acquisitions at RAI and later as Sr. VP of Production at Pandora Cinema. In L.A. she was VP of Acquisitions at Turner Pictures, later the Venice Biennale's Los Angeles representative. She has continued consulting in acquisitions and programming, and the entire film business commnunity in L.A. congratulates her on this move.

FilmMaster, one of the world’s most prestigious production companies and the top production company in Italy, will be more available to its American clientele who have increasingly turned to FilmMaster in recent years for production services in Italy.

FilmMaster’s CEO Ada Bonvini explained: “In recent years, we have become increasingly aware of the importance of establishing a base in Los Angeles. Both to meet the needs of our Italian clientele who are looking for American talent, and also to satisfy the major studios’ requirements for Italian production services. We heard terrific things about Eleonora and, as soon as we met her, we realized she was the right person to represent us.”

Since 1976, FilmMaster has been the leader in commercial production for the Italian market. They have produced over 3500 commercials, including some of the most memorable campaigns of the last decade. Since its inception, FilmMaster has won hundreds of awards, including a total of 27 Lion Awards at the International Advertising Festival in Cannes. No other Italian production company can boast such a record.

FilmMaster’s success derives not only from its unquestionable excellence in producing, but also from its collaboration with many of the world’s most outstanding filmmakers. To cite only a few names, they have worked with legends like Federico Fellini, David Lynch, and Spike Lee, as well as directors Michael Haussman, Sam Bayer, Daniele Luchetti, Ferzan Ozpetek, Sergio Castellito and Chris Cunningham.

In 2009 FilmMaster entered into a partnership agreement with Cinecittà Entertainment, a collaboration that provides FilmMaster with considerable advantages for foreign production, as well as significant tax relief.

FilmMaster is part of FilmMaster Group, along with K-events, FilmMaster Television and FilmMaster Events Dubai.

Eleonora Granata Jenkinson
3227 Elvido Drive, Los Angeles 90049
Telephone : + 1 ( 310) 440 4030

Skype: eleonora.granata1

Saturday, May 1, 2010

One Way to Help DIYers

Hi, Peter Belsito here, guest blogging today.

Anyone who knows me and has listened to me mouthing off about 'our film world' knows that I have a one world view of filmmaking and the business.

That is to say I believe the US business (mainly LA and then NYC also) is tied inextricably to the indie world, to festivals, to the burgeoning DIY movement (and the companies and people affiliated with same) here in the US ... AND to all aspects of same on the international film scene. Simple, one world, one cinema.

The relentless march of technology (for now 'digital') drags us all along in its wake.

So ... what's new? What should we be paying attention to? What's it all mean? and its founder Adam Chapnick provide a very good example of what's new and good...brought to us by the amazing Ted Hope on his excellent Blog had the below from Adam about and the work they're doing, the opportunities they are offering our film community.

I cannot improve on what's below so I reprint it here in full. April 20 at 7:36am

Filmmakers vs. Aggregators: Distribber speaks of Win, Win!

Distribber was recently acquired by IndieGoGo, and in the wake of the publicity surrounding the announcement, we received a tremendous outpouring of enthusiasm and interest in Distribber’s service. As is inevitable, there’s been some confusion around what Distribber does and doesn’t do.

Distribber was created to help rights holders maximize the payback from their work and investment.

More specifically, Distribber was conceived as a solution to several persistent complaints from filmmakers and other creative rights holders about distributors in general and aggregators in particular. (“Aggregator” is the term used for a company that acts as a gatekeeper between a rights holder and a retail platform, such as iTunes, Netflix, Hulu or Cable VOD operators like Comcast, Time Warner, etc.)

The complaints surrounded 3 specific pain points:

Complaint #1. Eternal revenue-share for finite service

Aggregators (other than Distribber) work on a revenue-share basis, meaning that they make money by keeping between 15% and 50% of your revenue that they collect from the retail platforms on your behalf. They take this portion of revenue for the entire term of your deal with them. The complaint from filmmakers was that while aggregators take this money “forever,” they didn’t seem to be working forever. To many, it seemed that aggregators placed their film on the platforms and then moved on.

This situation was even more frustrating for larger rights holders — production companies, sales reps, etc. — who controlled the rights to several (often dozens) of titles, and who engaged in significant marketing and grassroots outreach but lacked access to iTunes, except through revenue share entities. The shared-revenue structure has continued to frustrate these larger companies as they have been the core demand-drivers.

Now, in defense of aggregators, encoding a film, ushering it through Quality Control “QC” and having the access to place it on iTunes or Netflix or Hulu or Cable VOD or anywhere else is indeed a valuable service — and often a time-consuming one.

However, it seemed that one could put a fair price on that service that accounted for the work and value of relationships, and offer it to filmmakers cleanly, without the burden of a revenue-share. This would enable a filmmaker, production company or other rights holder to know their cash outflow in advance, and enjoy 100% of the benefit of their film’s success. So, Distribber adopted a flat-fee-for-service model.

Complaint #2. Large deducted expenses, often including fees for marketing services that seemed unhelpful or nonexistent

Filmmakers complained that distributors and aggregators deducted expenses that seemed unreasonable, like $1500 for encoding, or an array of costs for marketing services that the filmmaker wasn’t sure had actually been done.

Here, the opportunity was again to charge a fair price, once. So, Distribber adopted a fair price. The $1295 one-time fee for iTunes placement was less than some rev-share companies charged for the encoding alone, and after only 185 sales at $9.99 on iTunes, rights holders have been entirely in profit.

Without putting too fine a point on it, it bears emphasizing: after 185 iTunes sales at $9.99, a rights holder is in profit for the rest of the film’s life on iTunes. Going forward, Distribber charges $79 per year for account access, collection and sales stats.

The best evidence that we were on the right track came when the Age of Stupid production team chose to use Distribber — they have been incredibly successful trailblazers in the hybrid distribution movement, and their endorsement told us that our service is providing its intended benefits for its ideal users.

To compare Distribber’s model with revenue-share models, consider the illustration below. At 1000 iTunes sales (retail price $9.99), rights holders give up 174% more money under a 15% rev-share than they pay to Distribber ($3,550 compared to $1295). Under a 25% rev-share, rights holders pay 228% more ($4,250). At 10,000 sales, Distribber’s one-time fee doesn’t change, but a 15% rev-share deal now costs ten times the Distribber fee ($13,000), while a 25% rev-share deal costs over fifteen times more ($20,000). Obviously, at 20,000 sales, the disparity only increases.

Looking at revenue, with Distribber’s flat fee, at 1000 iTunes sales, rights holders are paid 65% more than they would be with a 15% rev-share deal ($5,705 vs. $3,450), and they’re paid more than twice what they’d get from a 25% deal ($5,626 vs. $2,750). At 10,000 sales, Distribber clients keep $11,705 more than they would under a 15% rev-share, and $18,705 more than they would under a 25% rev-share. And again, at 20,000 sales, a rights holder does even better.

What A Filmmaker Is Charged, With:  What A Filmmaker Keeps, With:


15% Rev-Share

25% Rev-Share


15% Rev-Share

25% Rev-Share

At 1000 iTunes sales







At 10000 iTunes sales







At 20000 iTunes sales







(The chart assumes Rev-share companies deduct from filmmaker’s revenue $2500 for encoding and/or marketing.)

And now, with Distribber’s addition of Amazon VOD and Netflix’s streaming service, we decided that as a limited-time promotion, for the same $1295, Distribber clients could have our Amazon and Netflix service for free. This of course only makes the above comparison even more lopsided in Distribber clients’ favor, since it adds revenue without adding any expense.

Complaint #3. Late payments, and sometimes no payment

Filmmakers complained that even after resigning themselves to a rev-share deal, and agreeing to the small payout left after expenses and revenue share deductions, they had to chase distributors and aggregators for reports and checks, and sometimes with none being sent at all.

So, Distribber has decided to do away with reports and checks, and instead employ a user account system, whereby clients login with a username and password. Here they gain access to collection stats by platform, and see their collected funds balance. Clients withdraw their own money on demand, with the click of a button. Having all sales stats and collection in one account removed a major, time-consuming headache from our clients lives for $79 a year.

Next: More Pain, More Answers

Even a casual follower of the distribution business knows that there are plenty of areas it can be improved, and in plenty of ways. Distribber is continuing to actively developing new methods and models to serve rights holders across a variety of platforms, from internet to cable to mobile.

With the proliferation of tools like Wordpress, Facebook, Twitter and all the plugins and apps that support those services, it’s more possible than ever for innovative companies, teams — or even individuals — to disrupt old marketing models and connect with audiences. Filmmaker/marketers like Gary Hustwit, Lance Weiler, Tiffany Shlain and others have shown the way to create demand via their own efforts and investment. Peter Broderick is shepherding rights holders through a hybrid strategy that teaches careful allocation of specific rights to companies that are highly specialized, with the goal of maximizing the revenue a filmmaker keeps.

The key thing to understand about Distribber is that it’s a powerful tool to help enterprising rights holders keep the most of their own money. The more skilled you are at connecting with audience, the more buzz that you’ve built, the better Distribber’s deal works for you.

ADAM CHAPNICK is CEO of, an IndieGoGo company that places film and TV content on digital sales platforms such as iTunes, Netflix and Amazon for a flat fee while allowing filmmakers to keep 100% of their revenue.

Adam can be reached at .

Countdown to Cannes 16 Days: The Match Factory's Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

Cannes Countdown: 16 Days: The Match Factory's
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
aka Lung Boonmee Raluek Chat

The Match Factory is one of the most dynamic and important international sales agents. To learn how international independent coproductions of the festival type film get made, you need to know origins of The Match Factory itself. Founder Karl Baumgartner is The Maestro of International Coproduction. He has been producing since 1991 and has at least two production companies, one of which is Pandora which goes back as a German distribution company to the 1950s and which with partner Reinhard Brundig is a partner in The Match Factory.  In 1963 Baumie, as he is known to his friends, prebought Jarmisch's Down By Law which immediately put both Jarmisch and his producer Jim Stark into international play.  Beside their slate of current films, they represent the entire library of Aki Kaurismäki.

Cofounder and partner, Michael Weber is one of the originators (after Wouter Barendrecht of Fortissimo) of the idea that international sales agents do not have to stick to films from their own country but can introduce films from other lands. Where Wouter brought Asian cinema to the west, Michael brought Latin American cinema to the world when he began his career in international sales at Bavaria Films International. This was the same moment that the venerable Bavaria Film Studio was resurrecting itself and designing its vertical identity.  Before that Michael was producing for TV and even acting occasionally.

The Match Factory launched in 2006 with Madeinusa, perhaps brought over by Michael from acquaintances made while at Bavaria. The international sales agency international arthouse films by acclaimed directors and promising young talents, whose films distinguish themselves through originality and style.

The Cannes competition film Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul is the penultimate example of how a film from a perhaps underfunded country can get enough financing to be made and delivered. The director, Apichatpong Weerasethakul , has already had two films in Cannes (Tropical Malady and Blissfully Yours) which certainly helps, but is not crucial to this saga. The Illumination Films producers Simon Fields and Keith Griffiths also have long histories in the international film and festival world.  Simon left his long term tenure as head of London's govenment funded distribution company and archive to go to his long held tenure as artistic director of the Rotterdam Film Festival.  Keith has been producing art films of the best kind since the late 70s.

The cynic might say that all this is what made the film acceptable to Cannes. But in the international independent film world, acquaintance with the players can very soon lead a young inexperienced (but talented!) filmmaker along the same path. And to learn how to make international waves, it is necessary to learn who is swimming in international waters.  It is important to know how such a film got made. All filmmakers, from the James Camerons to the Gregg Arakis and Apichatpong Wwerasethakuls to the still unrecognized filmmakers of the world would, if asked, acknowledge that it takes large and small miracles along the way to actually get a film made. My first awareness of this film was through the World Cinema Fund an initiative begun in 2004 at the Berlinale which develops co-operation strategies reflecting on cultural identities. Support from WCF often motivates other investors and institutions to participate in productions. Or perhaps it was from the Hubert Bals Fund the initiative operating at the Rotterdam Film Festival just prior to Berlin which funds development and post production of films from the developing countries of the world.  Take a look at the credits of this film. Each producer or co-producer enabled funding of certain types to take place.

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives aka Lung Boonmee Raluek Chat. 
UK/ Thailand/ France/ Germany/ Spain, 114 minutes

Suffering from acute kidney failure, Uncle Boonmee has chosen to spend his final days surrounded by his loved ones in the countryside. Surprisingly, the ghost of his deceased wife appears to care for him, and his long lost son returns home in a non-human form. Contemplating the reasons for his illness, Boonmee treks through the jungle with his family to a mysterious hilltop cave -- the birthplace of his first life...

Produced by:
Simon Field, Keith Griffiths - Illumination Films/Past Lives Productions (UK)
Apichatpong Weerasethakul - Kick the Machine Films (Thailand)

Co-Produced by:
Charles de Meaux - Anna Sanders Films (France) This brings French ticket receipt monies and other French subsidy dollars.
Michael Weber - The Match Factory (Germany).  This guarantees international presales.
Hans W. Geissendoerfer - GFF Geissendoerfer Film- und Fernsehproduktion KG (Germany)
Luis Miñarro - Eddie Saeta, S.A. (Spain). This accesses Spanish or European coin.

In Association With:
ZDF/Arte (Germany) This brings production and TV money

With the Participation of:
Fonds Sud Cinema (France).  French subsidies for developing countries.
Ministère de la culture et de la communication CNC (France). Insures a portion of movie ticket receipts will go toward film production.
Ministère des Affaires Etrangères et Européennes (France)

With the Support of:
Ministry of Culture (Thailand)
World Cinema Fund (Germany)
Hubert Bals Fund, International Film Festival Rotterdam (Netherlands)

Associate Producers:
Caroleen Feeney (USA)
Josslyn Barnes & Danny Glover - Louverture Films (USA)

In Association With:
Haus der Kunst, Munich (Germany)

FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) Liverpool (UK)

Animate Projects, London (UK


Recreation a newly launched international sales company, had a successful market debut at the 2010 Berlin Film Festival, with the Panorama Special opening film Kawasaki's Rose by Academy Award nominated director Jan Hrebejk. Part of Recreation Media, an emerging group of interlinked entertainment companies, Recreation will source its product from a number of content providers at arm’s length, and by entering into alliances with exciting filmmakers, producers and other third party rights holders, building its slate around a few key partnerships.

Recreation’s first partnership of this kind is a multi-picture deal with Menemsha Films, a leading distributor of critically acclaimed films who set a record by representing 5 Academy Award nominated pictures 5 years in a row. Kawasaki's Rose, the first title in the partnership, received 2 prizes for best film at Berlin, each awarded by independent juries for the festival’s Panorama section. In his rave review, Variety’s Derek Elley noted that “[Kawasaki’s] Rose would easily have given some bloom to this year’s Berlinale in a competition slot,” and indieWIRE called Kawasaki's Rose “the one undeniable ‘find’ of the festival”.

While offering a broad range of film, television and digital media product under one roof, Recreation will segment its slate into distinctly branded labels, each targeting clearly identified niches, audiences and formats.

Entering Cannes with Two Gates of Sleep, a much anticipated film from USA and Ludo Boeken's German drama Saviors in the Night produced by Karl Baumgartner, one of Europe's most distinguished producers of international festival films, Recreation may have more news to offer as Cannes approaches and will certainly have more news as Cannes progresses.

Keep tuned to Ariel Veneziano at Recreation.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Directors' Fortnight and Critics' Week 2010

The artistic directors of both Directors' Fortnight (Quinzaine de realisateurs) and Critics' Week (La Semaine de la critique) have stated they did not want to pick from Sundance titles. "We try to show films that don't pass through Sundance first", Critics Week’s Artistic Director Jean-Christophe Berjon said, “although U.S. indie entries are well represented this year." "I wanted to change things up and not take any Sundance films unless they were exceptional," said Frederic Boyer said in an interview. Considering how many Sundance titles went to the Berlinale, and that Cannes is 6 months later, singling out Sundance is somewhat odd. We in US already know that Sundance has a certain sort of American film, and that other films are continually being made that might be just as good but not to the taste of Sundance programmers or simply not timed for the Sundance slot. That the two Cannes sidebars feel a need to distance themselves from Sundance is very complementary to Sundance however. Both sidebars are showcasing new talent as well, which distances them from the main competition of the Festival de Cannes. Now the issue is how Directors Fortnight and Critics Week will distinguish themselves from each another.

Directors’ Fortnight was created by the SRF (French Directors Society) in the wake of the events of May ’68 by Godard,Truffaut, Chabrol and for a time, Louis Malle, but the non-competitive's 42nd edition is ALL NEW. First there is the new artistic director, Frederic Boyer. Next there is a new logo, a new website and 11 new first time directors of the 22 selected. And finally, all but one of the 22 films are brand new too (premieres).

Women ♀ make up four out the 22 films = 11%. No better than the 15% of the main event and Un Certain Regard and no better than Critics’ Week (15%) which follows.

All Good Children (Ireland - Belgium - France) by Alicia Duffy ♀ Coach 14

Lily Sometimes (France) by Fabienne Berthaud ♀ (closing film)SND Groupe M6

Love Like Poison (France) Katell Quillevere ♀ Films Distribution

Joy aka A Alegria by Marina Meliande, Felipe Braganca (Brazil) ♀ FiGa Films

Agnes Varda will receive French directors' organization the SRF's Carosse d'Or prize on May 13 during the sidebar's traditional opening-night ceremonies. ♀

This year's selection for the Fortnight was light on films from Asia. Apart from Kubat's film The Light Thief from Kyrgyzstan, just the Tiger Factory by Woo Ming Jin of Malaysia comes from Asia.

Latin America is well represented with two Mexican, one Argentinean and one Uruguayan horror film. From Mexico comes Michael Rowe's first feature Ano Bisiesto and Jorge Michel Grau We Are What We Are. From Argentina: Diego Lerman The Invisible Eye, an Argentinean-French-Spanish co-production, and from Uruguay: Gustavo Hernandez's horror film The Silent House , filmed in only four days in one continuous shot, and based on a true story. Trailer .

The lineup follows:

Directors' Fortnight

All Good Children (Ireland - Belgium - France) by Alicia Duffy ♀ produced by Element Pictures and Cineart, backed by Backup Films and being sold by title="Coach 14">Coach 14. Winner of third prize in the Cannes Cinéfondation competition in 2001, the director was also selected for the Croisette’s official shorts competition in 2003 with The Most Beautiful Man in the World (also nominated for a Bafta).

Benda Bilili! by Renaud Barret, Florent de la Tullaye (Congo, France) (opening film)
Funny Balloons

Des fil en noir;by Jean-Paul Civeyrac (France) Les Films du Losange

Everything Will Be Fine by Christoffer Boe (Denmark-Sweden-France) The Match Factory

The Light Thief (Kyrgyzstan) by Aktan Arym Kubat. The Match Factory. About an electrician, the last link with the Kyrgyg energy system and the Mafia. When the electricity rates were hiked Kyrgyzstan had its second revolution since independence from USSR and the country is currently in a state of suspense.

Shit Year by Cam Archer (USA) The Match Factory

Illega by Olivier Masset-Depasse (Belgium-Luxembourg-France) Films Distribution

title="Cleveland Vs. Wall Street"> by Jean-Stephane Bron (France-Switzerland) Films Distribution

Love Like Poison aka Un Poison violent by Katell Quillevere (France) ♀ Films Distribution

The Invisible Eye by Diego Lerman (Argentina-France-Spain) Pyramide International

title="Ano Bisiesto aka Leap Year">Ano Bisiesto aka Leap Year, Michael Rowe (Mexico) Pyramide International

Joy aka A Alegria by Marina Meliande, Felipe Braganca (Brazil) ♀ FiGa Films

Le quattro volte by Michelangelo Frammartino (Italy-Germany-Switzerland) Coproduction OfficeTarget="_blank"

Lily Sometimes aka Pieds nus sur les limaces by Fabienne Berthaud (France) (closing film) ♀ SND Groupe M6

Little Baby Jesus of Flanders by Gust Vandenberghe (Belgium) Flanders Image

Picco by Philip Koch (Germany) Rezo

The Silent House aka La Casa Muda by Gustavo Hernandez (Uruguay) Elle Driver

Tiger Factory by Woo Ming-jin (Malaysia)

Todos vos sode capitans by Oliver Laxe (Morocco-Spain) See trailer . Zeitun Films

Two Gates of Sleep by Alistair Banks Griffin (U.S.) Recreation

The Wanderer by Avishai Sivan (Israel)

We Are What We Are by Jorge Michel Grau (Mexico) Wild Bunch

Special Screenings:

Boxing Gym by Frederick Wiseman (U.S.) Doc & Film

Stones in Exile by Stephen Kijak (U.K.) BBC Worldwide

Short-film Program:

Licht, Andre Schreuders (Netherlands)

Quest, Ionut Piturescu (Romania)

Mary Last Seen, Sean Durkin (U.S.)

Petit tailleuer, Louis Garrel (France)

Shadows of Silence, Pradeepan Raveendra (France) ♀?

Shikasha, Hirabayashi Isamu (Japan)

A Silent Child, Jesper Klevenas (Sweden)

Tre ore, Annarita Zambrano (Italy) ♀

Zed Crew, Noah Pink (Zambia)

La Semaine de la Critique started in the spring of 1961, during the fourteenth Cannes International Film Festival. Upon the initiative of the Association Française de la Critique de Cinéma 2 (French Association of Film Critics), the Festival screened The Connection by Shirley Clarke (USA), part of a less popular wave of films, usually overlooked by producers as well as by film festivals. To have its screening at the Cannes Film Festival which at that time was ruled by producers and not very open to emerging tendencies, was a true phenomenon. The 48th annual International Critics Weeks’ artistic director Jean-Christophe Berjon has announced 7 competition films, all up for the Camera d’Or and 6 of which are world premiers. Feel-good films predominate as do young filmmakers.

Women in Critics Week ♀ only 1.5 (15%): French Competition Belle Epine, a first film but not a feel-good one by Rebecca Zlotowski and Sound of Noise, a first feature directed by Ola Simonsson ♀ & Johannes Stjarne Nilsson from Sweden and France.

Asian titles came out in force in this year's Critics Week competition, including Boo Junfeng Sandcastle from Singapore, Vietnamese director Phan Dang Di's Bi, Don't be Afraid and South Korean Jang Cheol So's Bedevilled. In its form, it's profoundly Korean, but it hits upon universal values, Berjon said of the latter.

Scandinavia adds a Nordic touch to the lineup, with Swedish directing duo Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stjarne Nilsson Sound of Noise, a co-production with France about a police officer allergic to music who must confront a band of sonic terrorists.

Critics Week lineup follows:


Armadillo -- first feature Janus Metz, Denmark (TrustNordisk

Bedevilled -- first feature Jang Cheol So, South Korea (Finecut)

Belle Epine -- first feature ♀ Rebecca Zlotowski, France (Pyramide)

Bi, Dung so! aka Bi, Don't Be Afraid-- first feature Phan Dang Di, Vietnam/France/Germany (Vietnam Media Corp)

The Myth of the American Sleepover -- first feature David Robert Mitchell, U.S. straight from SXSW

Sandcastle -- first feature Boo Junfeng, Singapore (Fortissimo)

Sound of Noise -- first feature Ola Simonsson ♀ & Johannes Stjarne Nilsson, Sweden/France (Wild Bunch)

Special screenings:

Opening film Le Nom de gens aka The Names of Love -- second feature by Michel Leclerc, France (TF1

Rubber -- second feature by Quentin Dupieux, France (Elle Driver♀)

Copacabana -- second feature by Marc Fitoussi, France (Kinology)

Rights Round Up Cannes 2010

The buyers have already begun shopping and the market has yet to begin!

The Rights Roundup enables distributors and international sales agents to keep track of current market activities during and for a certain time after the event. The links to the international sales agents' (ISAs) and distributors' own websites enable readers to go deeper into the companies, thus pulling back the curtain on the international film business. Titles are linked to IMDbPro because to date it is the only place a paying public can see at a glance which companies (look under Company Credits) are involved in the international sales and distribution - as well as in the production - of the title. From those Company Credits, one can also see the rest of the company's lineup of films - whether in actual distribution, on offer, in development, or in the library/ catalog - all invaluable information for the business of film. For the real market going film professional however, only Cinando offers the best of market information, from locations to screenings and all the most current and accurate company contact information. And of course, for the known and approved buyers (distributors), the ISA gives further access to the film, its corollary materials, etc.

Getting the jump on the Marche du Film, to date, these international sales agents have licensed rights to the following films to the following distributors. As this is a work in progress, the correct links to contacts will be inserted as we progress:

- Companies link to their own websites.
- Film titles link mostly to IMDbPro. If you don't have a subscription, it might be worth getting one.
- You can also find the titles on the Cannes Market website Cinando.

Readers can let me know which links they prefer. I prefer IMDb as the title link because if you go into the titles' "Company Credits", you can often see and link immediately to the Distributors and you can see if the rights for your territory have been sold (if you are a Distributor) and what other films the designated Distributors have, something which might dovetail in nicely with your own tastes. If you are an International Sales Agent (which IMDb sometimes calls Sales Representative and which I call an ISA), you can see a competitor's title and what Distributors have acquired it. I am sure Cinando will move into this area once the International Sales Agents realize the value such rights information adds even while upping the competitive ante. Given a level playing field, the smart players will prevail. I am in favor of revealing who the buyers / Distributors are...their own websites and publicity needs are in accord with this transparency even if International Sales Agents do not like revealing who their clients are for fear their competitors will steal them away.

Aspect Film has licensed award winning Self Medicated to Lionsgate for UK, 21st Century Pictures for Australia. The North American DVD release is April 20th, following its theatrical release there by the now defunct ThinkFilm who also had the international rights, prior to Aspect’s acquiring it for international sales. Blood Night and Badland went to High Fliers for UK. Blood Night and Food Matters went to Tiberius for Germany in pre-Cannes deals.

On the hush hush, Roger Spottiswoode (Tomorrow Never Dies, The 6th Day, the Children of Huang Shi) has signed on to direct Aspect’s biographical feature The Precious One. Mark Ordesky (The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Golden Compass) will produce. We’re not making an official announcement yet, but will let you know as soon as possible.

Celluloid Dreams ♀ licensed Margarethe von Trotta’s ♀ Vision to Zeitgeist for US. Brendan and the Secret of the Kells went to GKIDS for US in pre-Cannes deals.

Cinephil♀ licensed Film Unfinished♀ to Oscilloscope for US in a pre-Cannes deal.

Crimson Wolf Productions licensed No. American rights to Eyeborgs to Image in a pre-Cannes deal.

D Street Media Group licensed Rivers Wash Over Me to Strand for US in a pre-Cannes deal.

DeaPlaneta presold Julia’s Eyes aka Los Ojos de Julia to Optimum for UK in a pre-Cannes deal.

Europacorp licensed Luc Besson’s The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Secto Optimum for UK and to TriPictures for Spain in a pre-Cannes deal.

FilmNation licensed Terrence Malick’s latest untitled project, a romantic drama starring Christian Bale, Javier Bardem and Olga Kurylenko to Ascot Elite for Switzerland and to Optimum for UK in pre-Cannes deals.

Films Distribution licensed L’Amour fou to Optimum for UK in a pre-Cannes deal.

Focus Features licensed True Legend to Optimum for UK in a pre-Cannes deal.

Fortissimo licensed The Promised Land, a Second World War drama set in Palestine with Colin Firth and Jim Sturges, to Ascot Elite for Switzerland in a pre-Cannes deal.

Hanway has presold David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method to Universal Pictures International (UPI) for Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain and South Africa. Picture will start in May. Mars picked it up for France, E1 for Canada, Transmission for Australia and Cineartfor Benelux. It is based on the true-life turbulent relationships between fledgling psychiatrist Carl Jung, his mentor Sigmund Freud and his patient Sabina and is adapted by screenwriter Christopher Hampton from his play The Talking Cure. Focus has North American rights. UK is still available. Made in Dagenham went to Ascot Elite for Switzerland and Sony Pictures Classics for North America in pre-Cannes deals.

Imagina licensed Woody Allen’s You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger to Sony Pictures Classics for North America in a pre-Cannes deal.

InTandem licensed Beneath Hill 60 to Momentum for UK in a pre-Cannes deal.

Kinology licensed Hearbreaker (L’Amacouer) to IFC for U.S. after its North American premiere at the City of Lights, City of Angels Film Festival (ColCoa) in Los Angeles in a pre-Cannes deal. It will also play Tribeca FF. IFC Films will release Heartbreaker via its IFC in Theaters on demand platform the same day it opens theatrically.

Lakeshore licensed Lincoln Lawyer to Lionsgate for US in a pre-Cannes deal.

Lightning licensed Needle to Telepool for German-speaking Europe in a pre-emptive pre-Cannes deal. Playarte acquired the film for Brazil and Eagle Films for Middle East in pre-Cannes deals. Lighting Entertainment is handling worldwide sales excluding Australia and New Zealand, where the filmmakers are in talks with distributors.

Lionsgate licensed The Dark Fields in a pre-Cannes deal.

Mandate sold Knockout to Ascot Elite for Switzerland and Lionsgate for US. Mandate presold LOL to Tripictures for Spain. CAA is repping US rights to this English language remake of the French film, both directed by Liza Azuelos. The original French version was a huge hit in France last year taking $30m through Pathe. The Dark Fields went to Ascot Elite for Switzerland. It has already gone to Pinema for Turkey, IPA Asia Pacific for Thailand. Rogue and Universal have North America.

Moonstone has licensed 2:22 to Inception Media Group for US in a pre-Cannes deal.

Pathe licensed Sony Pictures Classics all North American rights to Sylvain Chomet’s The Illusionist. Based on an unproduced screenplay by Jacques Tati, the film won raves when it premiered earlier this year at the Berlin Film Festival as a Berlinale Special Selection. Sony Pictures Classics previously worked with Chomet on his Academy Award-nominated film The Triplets of Bellevile.

QED licensed Walled In to Optimum for UK in a pre-Cannes deal.

Sahamongkolfilm licensed Ong Bak 3 to Optimum for UK in a pre-Cannes deal.

Salt ♀ licensed Killing Bono to Paramount for UK and Ireland in a pre-Cannes deal.

Sony Pictures International will be selling Sony Pictures Classics’s Inside Job which will be screening in the Cannes Film Festival Out of Competition Special Screening slot. SPC became involved in the film more than a year and a half ago and has acquired all English language rights including North America.

Summit has licensed Fair Game, Letters to Juliet, Terence Malick’s The Tree of Life, and Twilight: Eclipse to Ascot Elite Entertainment for Switzerland ahead of this year’s festival. Summit also acquired North American rights for its own distribution company as well as rights for Italy, Benelux, Scandinavia, Japan and CIS. River Road is the production company and rights holder. The Tree of Life also went to Optimum for UK. It was produced by Bill Pohlad through his River Road Entertainment although his US distribution company Apparition did not take North American rights. River Road Entertainment, Participant Media and Imagenation Abu Dhabi financed the project.

The Weinstein Company licensed Wes Craven’s Scream 4 and Piranha 3D to Ascot Elite for Switzerland in a pre-Cannes deal.

TrustNordisk licensed A Somewhat Gentle Man to Strand for US in a pre-Cannes deal.

UTV Motion Pictures has closed multiple movie output deals for some of its recent titles such as historical epic Jodhaa Akbar, Fashion and Race with leading Middle Eastern TV networks MBC, Infinity TV, Kuwait TV and Abu Dhabi TV. Jodhaa Akbar is the first Hindi film to be dubbed in Arabic to air on free-to-air, pan-Arabic network MBC, which estimates its audience at 130 million viewers. The network will also telecast other titles such as Chance Pe Dance, What’s Your Raashee, Wake Up Sid and Main Aurr Mrs Khanna over the next few months. Infinity TV, Abu Dhabi TV and Kuwait TV will air Fashion, Oye Lucky, Jodhaa Akbar, Race and Kismat Konnection and others in pre-Cannes deals.

Westend licensed Tamara Drewe to Sony Pictures Classics for US in a pre-Cannes deal.

Wild Bunch presold Dog Pound and The Revelation of The Pyramids to Optimum for UK in a pre-Cannes deal.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

German download revenue trebles - Per Variety

German download revenue trebles - Entertainment News, International Top Story, Media - Variety:
Posted: Tue., Apr. 27, 2010, 7:25am Variety:

German consumers paid for 4.8 million transactions

BERLIN -- Revenue stemming from film downloads in Germany rose
threefold to E21 million ($28 million) last year.

According to market research group GfK, consumers paid for a total of 4.8 million transactions in
2009, with new titles making up 60% of all sales.

At the top of the list was video-on-demand, which saw revenues double to $17.4 million, accounting for the
lion's share of the business.

Electronic sell-through (EST), which in Germany is largely generated by Apple's iTunes, accounted for $10.6 million.

Like DVD sell-through, the digital delivery business is strongest in the fourth quarter. Some 45% of revenue was generated in the last three months of
2009. And for the first time in the fourth quarter, EST accounted for more than 50% of digital delivery, followed by VoD with 38% and pay-per-view with 11%.

Germany's overall home entertainment market took in $1.8 billion in sale and $340 million in rental revenue; digital download business accounted for just 0.5% of the former and 5% of the latter.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Backup Films Financed 7 Films in the Cannes Film Festival!

7 films in the three sections of Cannes were financed by Backup Films.  Entirely dedicated to film financing, Backup Films has, in 2009 alone worked with over 60 ambitious international projects in their search of financing, whether in their development, production, or distribution phase. Backup Films is currently managing film investments funds of over €33.6M, and has brokered, last year, €4.5M in coproduction, distribution and equity deals. Over the past 8 years, the films financed through the Backup Films Agency or Backup Films’ funds have gathered 40 A-class festival selections and have won 15 major prizes.

Official Selection

Tournée (Le Pacte) de Mathieu Amalric is in Compétition. Tournée is produced by Les Films du Poisson in association with SOFICA COFICUP – with funds from Backup Films.

L’autre monde, aka Black Heaven (Memento) the second feature of Gilles Marchand, and his second time in Special Screenings. It is produced by Haut et Court in association avec SOFICA COFICUP – with funds from Backup Films.

Un Certain Regard
Adrienne Pal (KMH Film) by Agnes Kocsis is produced by MH Film in association with the Agency Backup Films.

Critics' Week

Rubber (Elle Driver) by Quentin Duppieux is in a special screening and is a road movie following a psycho- and telepathic murderer across the Californian desert.  It is  is produced by Realitism Films in association with the Agency Backup Films.

Directors' Fortnight

Everything will be Fine (The Match Factory) by Christoffer Boe representsDenmark in the Quinzaine. An intense psychological thriller with a political conspiracy mixed in.  Boe won the Camera d'Or in Cannes in 2003 with Reconstruction, one of the best films of the entire year.  Produced by Alphaville Pictures et Lovestreams Agnès B. in association with SOFICA COFICUP – with financing from Backup Films.

The Light Thief (The Match Factory) by Atan Arym Kubat explores an electrician with the last access to the energy infrastructure of Kyrgyzstan during its revolution for independence from Russia and ties to the Russian Mafia. Produced by ASAP Films in association with Agency Backup Films.

All Good Children, (no ISA) debut feature of Alicia Duffy is in compétition for the Caméra d’Or. her shorts won the Prize Cinéfondation in 2001 and Palme d’Or for shorts in 2003).  Produced by Element Pictures in association with the Agency Backup Films.

Countdown to Cannes 19 Days: Films Distribution's Love Like Poison, Illegal

Love Like Poison is the debut feature of young French female director Katell Quillevere (one of five featured among the 22 features in Directors Fortnight) with her first feature, also called Poison Violent. French singer Lio co-stars with young Gallic talent in the story about a 14-year-old girl getting ready for her confirmation ceremony.

Illegal, Olivier Masset-Depasse's Belgian-French-Luxembourgian co-production will be showing in Directors' Fortnight.

It is being sold by Films Distribution.  In 1997 Nicolas Brigaud-Robert and François Yon began the company and visited every player in Los Angeles as they explored the terrain.  I was honored that they visited me at FilmFinders in West Hollywood and felt Francois and I would become the best of friends.  Since then, the company has made a name for itself in the marketplace as a highly-specialized outfit.  They seem to have grown quickly into quite a large outfit launching 15 to 20 new titles a year which are often the most prestigious festival selections. Some known quality films are La Pivallina, Merry Christmas, Live&Become, Crazy, Lady Chatterley, Lemon Tree, Coco Chanel, Cell 211.  They are dedicated to singular, award winning and innovative feature films from all over the world, proud to discover and introduce exciting new filmmakers around the world.  Films Distribution now handles a library of approximately 800 features, 300 of which are available worldwide.  In addition to its Paris office, in 2008 Films Distribution set up Films Boutique, a Berlin based subsidiary, somewhat similarly to Celluloid Dreams' Directors Cut, handling the artier of their festival films.