Bérénice Vincent • Exporter
by Fabien Lemercier
- Bérénice Vincent, director of international sales at Les Films du Losange, discusses the key assets on the firm’s EFM slate and analyses current market trends
A few days out from the European Film Market at the 66th Berlinale (11-21 February 2016), Cineuropa sat down with Bérénice Vincent, who heads the international sales team at the Parisian company Les Films du Losange, managed by Margaret Ménégoz.
Cineuropa: Things to Come [+see also:
Q&A: Mia Hansen-Løve
film profile] by Mia Hansen-Løve, whose world premiere will take place in the Competition section at Berlin, is Les Films du Losange's figurehead for their line-up at the EFM this year. What makes this film so appealing, and what are your expectations for its sales?
Bérénice Vincent: Mia Hansen-Løve has already directed four feature-length films, each having had an international impact. Her film’s selection at Berlin is just another step forward for her. She's a young director of some renown, who handles the complexity of emotions with finesse, which, for many international buyers, harks back to some specifically French quality in cinema. Things to Come is a very rich film. It's not just about emotions, but also about daily growth; something we all find in multiple aspects of life, with its highs and its lows. It does this without being just another story confining women to their simple love life. I feel as though Berlin is giving more and more room to intimate films; to a political type of cinema that can express itself through truly fluid directing, without the heaviness of some of the more formal political demonstrations. It's something I find truly gratifying. As for the sales of future releases, nothing is for certain, but I’m confident.
What about the other title in your line-up, Eugène Green's The Son of Joseph [+see also:
film profile], which will be unveiled as part of the Forum section?
Eugène Green is a truly original voice in contemporary French cinema. He has a very pure directing style and its simplicity provokes real cinematographic emotion. Incidentally, I find that the programme for the Forum features audacious directors, full of great cinematic ambition. Eugène Green evokes images of fatherhood and intergenerational transmission all the while humorously describing a certain Parisian milieu, typified by Mathieu Amalric at his peak.
What other films do you have in play at the European Film Market?
We will be having the first market screening of Antoine Cuypers' Prejudice [+see also:
interview: Antoine Cuypers
film profile], which was selected at Rotterdam and just won the Audience Award at Angers. The film has recently been released in France and was met with a warm reception. It’s a debut film shot with such mastery. Starring Nathalie Baye, this movie touches on the notion of difference in a way that is reminiscent of Michael Haneke’s work. We are also announcing new films, like Axelle Ropert's La Prunelle de Mes Yeux (read the article) and Caroline Deruas' L'indomptée (produced by Thelma Films). I think that Axelle Ropert will surprise us with this romantic comedy staring two fantastic actors in Bastien Bouillon and Mélanie Bernier, the former a frequent star of auteur films and the latter of popular comedies. The way their styles mix works fantastically and the film really addresses a wide and varied range of people, with both popular and specific tastes. As for L'indomptée, it's Caroline Deruas' (scriptwriter for Philippe Garrel) first feature film. Shot entirely at the Villa Medici in Rome, featuring Clotilde Hesme and Jenna Thiam, it looks at artistic and emotional emancipation as well as ghosts...
What is your opinion on the principal market trends, particularly for auteur films, which are championed by Les Films du Losange?
There has been an increased focus on the sales of certain key titles. If you don't have any, it's difficult. But if you do, the market responds well, including some areas renowned for being difficult to penetrate for French films, like the United Kingdom. Selection at festivals is another key area, and we've recently had a few disappointments, with some high-quality films, no less. Some festivals tend to focus their choices more and more on commercial factors, like a film's cast, which is a little unfortunate. Regarding distributors' strategies, I'll admit that I am very curious to see what will become of these day-and-date releases in Europe, and especially in France, with respect to what is happening in the US and the UK. Personally, I am very attached to the idea of going to the cinema and that experience, but I think that auteur cinema needs to look at the evolution of its audience, in particular the younger generation. My love of cinema was born partially because of TV channels like Ciné Cinéma and their scheduling from when I was a teenager. So why can't VoD create a love of cinema in today’s teens?
How would you place the European Film Market with respect to other big global markets?
It is the not-to-be-missed meet-up of the beginning of the year. It's also highly likely that Berlin is attractive for more and more long-awaited projects wanting to avoid competition with announcements from Cannes.
(Translated from French)