Films Distribution is on cloud nine with Son of Saul
by Fabien Lemercier
- CANNES 2015: The French company has been doing exceedingly well on the Croisette with László Nemes’ film, which has been sold all around the world, just like Nanni Moretti’s Mia Madre
"We knew we had a very strong film, an exceptional cinematic offering, but what we are most pleased about is that within the small world of buyers and sellers, we can all agree on the fact that it’s an important film." On the morning of the final day of the Film Market at the 68th Cannes Film Festival, Nicolas Brigaud-Robert, who manages French international sales agent Films Distribution together with François Yon, gave Cineuropa his interpretation of the staggering success seen by the Hungarian film Son of Saul [+see also:
Q&A: László Nemes
interview: László Rajk
film profile] by director László Nemes (read the review and the interview), which has undoubtedly been one of the big revelations of the Cannes competition and has already been sold to almost the entire world.
"Some buyers have even come to talk to us about the film when they knew full well that their territory was no longer available. That doesn’t happen so often in our line of work of bringing out relative, subjective titles. This consensus of opinion is magical, and you get a strong impression when you see the fact that producers, distributors or sellers are contributing to the history of cinema, and when you see this becoming a reality to such a degree. Distributors watch a lot of films, and they know how to recognise an exceptional work. The movie has been bought for the most unexpected territories, particularly in Asia, where the holocaust is not necessarily a very emotive subject. And the Germans are the last ones to be waking up to it, because they are realising that they are perhaps missing out on a phenomenal film, including for their own market."
When did László Nemes’ feature get added to Films Distribution’s line-up? "We took it in January. But it wasn’t a chance encounter, as Films Distribution has been in existence for 18 years, we receive between 500 and 600 films every year, and we sell a lot of debut films because we are always on the lookout for new talents."
What about the sales for the other Cannes competitor on the slate – Mia Madre [+see also:
interview: Nanni Moretti
film profile] by Italy’s Nanni Moretti (read the review, the interview and the market news)? "We’ve sold it everywhere. The film has had a lot of very good press and has real commercial strength. Firstly because Nanni Moretti is a well-known auteur, revered by both critics and audiences of film buffs from all around the world. Secondly, because the movie addresses a universal subject in a very intelligent way: the death of a parent. In addition, there is a real chemistry at work between drama and comedy thanks to the contribution of John Turturro. Lastly, it is because Mia Madre is a very accomplished film."
The 2015 Cannes Film Market has therefore been an extremely fruitful one for Films Distribution. "When two films can attract such a huge amount of attention from distributors in this way, that is obviously of benefit to all the films on our slate, particularly to our two movies screened in Un Certain Regard: Taklub by Filipino director Brillante Mendoza and Lamb [+see also:
film profile] by Ethiopia’s Yared Zeleke.”
(Translated from French)