Some of the key players in the distribution field participated in the sixth edition of the panel Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Distribution But Were Afraid To Ask, dedicated to collaboration in the audiovisual sector.
The moderator Michael Gubbins (Sampomedia) opened the panel by considering the aspects that distribution already shares with the rest of the production chain. Stefano Massenzi (Lucky Red, Europa Distribution) also shared his view on the matter: “Broadcasters already have information and give it to distributors, telling them what they are supposed to do, so there’s less freedom. The important thing for distributors, who have a privileged position, is to listen to the markets and the audiences”.
Gianni Zanasi shared her thoughts from the author’s point of view: “Since I was little I had a dream: being abducted by aliens. The origin of this is important to me: Why do I like to go to the cinema? It’s rooted in the feeling of going to the cinema and being abducted by UFOs”. Katarzyna Siniarska (New Europe Film Sales) who does scouting and talent searches, also added her position on the topic. “We are constantly looking for new talent, but it is very difficult to find something worthwhile. As a company, we are very focused on marketing, the packaging is vital. We start working at once, both with the screenplay and during editing, and through this process, we learned to protect the filmmaker from coproductions in which many people try to intervene. We have to protect the authenticity of the projects, if you don’t, you are just doing something that will be just ok”.
Ed Guiney (Element Pictures) shared the producers’ point of view: “I’m a producer, but I also distribute films in Ireland. I think that, at the moment, there are both opportunities and risks for European films: you can take risks, but European films have difficulties when they’re being exported. There’s also the risk of mediocrity in the films that Europeans are doing: they are not beautiful — while they are not bad at all, they are also not emotive.
Responding to the situation outlined by Ed Guiney, Kim Foss (Grand Teatret, Camera Film) concluded the panel by stating: “This historic period is very difficult for film distributors — films with no guarantee of succeeding are being searched for. Times are changing and we have to adapt.” As an example, he explained how the event-film phenomenon (which are much more difficult to produce) is achieving higher revenue for those who dare.