Piazza Grande films sell extremely well
by Birgit Heidsiek
- Dancing Arabs, À la vie and The Fool are among the first Locarno titles to be picked up for international distribution
With more than 1,020 industry representatives and over 200 international buyers and sellers at the 67th Locarno Film Festival, Nadia Dresti, head of international, sums up the event in a very positive way. “The idea behind the Industry Days is to help the films to be sold,” stresses Dresti. “During the Industry Days, professionals have the chance to see all of the films in the two competitions and in the Piazza Grande.”
One of the strongest films to have its international premiere in the Piazza Grande was Eran Riklis’ drama Dancing Arabs [+see also:
interview: Eran Riklis
film profile], which The Match Factory sold to Karma Films in Spain, Wild Bunch Benelux and Seven Films in Greece. Further deals with territories such as Canada, Italy and Brazil are expected.
Jean-Jacques Zilbermann celebrated a world premiere in the Piazza for his drama À la vie [+see also:
film profile], about three Jewish women who reconnect 15 years after they were deported to Auschwitz. Le Pacte sold the film to Swiss distributor Frenetic Films.
Russian competition entry The Fool [+see also:
interview: Yury Bykov
film profile] by Yury Bykov, for which Artem Bystrov received the Best Lead Actor Award, received several offers from distributors in France, Italy, the Netherlands, the UK, Israel and Canada. The international rights for the movie were picked up by M-Appeal, which also acquired the Swiss Piazza Grande hit Schweizer Helden [+see also:
film profile] by Peter Luisi, which won the Audience Award at Locarno. Further world sales acquisitions include the Swiss-Paraguayan drama El tiempo nublado [+see also:
interview: Arami Ullón
film profile] by Arami Ullón, which was picked up by Film Republic, and competition entry Fidelio, l'odysée d'Alice [+see also:
interview: Lucie Borleteau
film profile] by Lucie Borleteau, which was picked up by Pyramide.
During the Industry Days, Dresti brought several buyers, sellers, and festival and funding reps together at a StepIn brainstorming session, where alternative distribution models such as day-and-date, (S)VoD and new channels in the cloud were discussed. StepIn was organized in collaboration, since its first edition, with Europa Distribution, Europa Cinema, Europa International, and for the first time, this year also the FERA. “For the first time, we also invited members from FERA (the Federation of European Film Directors) to this StepIn meeting in order for directors to have a voice,” reports Dresti. “Directors have to understand that not all the films they are making can be released theatrically.”