"A lot of charm"
by Fabien Lemercier
- A distributor committed to supporting young directors and arthouse films
As head of ID Distribution, an independant company she created in 1997, Isabelle Dubar has always been committed to distributing quality films, such as the 2004 releases Anyway the wind blows by Tom Barman (Belgium) and Manifesto by Joaquin Oristell (Spain), or, last April, Private by Saverio Costanzo (Italy) and soon The Sky Turns, by Mercedes Alvares (Spain), which will be released on 15 copies on the 20th of July.
Cineuropa : Why did you choose to distribute The Sky Turns?
Isabelle Dubar : I had missed it in Rotterdam so I only discovered it last April in Buenos Aires and really liked it. Its a poetic and tender film with much humour in it, a combination which gives it a lot of charm. I have experience in distributing documentaries, therefore since I thought the film ought to be shown to the public, I had no reason to doubt.
How did promotion go?
Obviously, this kind of film needs great support from the press. We decided to release it in the Summer because this is when spectators have more time on their hands and the media more room for us. In September, it would be more difficult for such a film to get attention. Launching theme-films on such a specific subject is risky but that's the game after all; the public is not always available and there are factors you cannot control. You always need some kind of small miracle. Even if you work hard, have the right cinemas and positive reviews, it all depends on competition, weather...The exhibitors really liked the film so we have arthouse cinemas as well as the UGC Ciné Cité Les Halles and Les 7 Parnassiens in Paris. We hope to make at least 20,000 to 25,000 admissions.
You often distribute European arthouse films. Is it difficult to attract the French public with such productions?
The competition makes it tough, for new films from the whole world keep coming. However, in France, we have a great network of arthouse theatres and more film-pundits than in many other countries. Many countries are stuck between American films and national productions, which leaves little room for the rest. Besides, fierce bargains keep raising prices. You have to be there at the right time and have the right arguments, for the seller does not always choose the buyer who offers the highest garanteed minimum. The type of release counts, so the seller may choose the distributor whom he thinks is more adapted to the film. We try as much as possible to create friendly partnerships with the directors and follow them.