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CANNES 2009 Market

Dutch pick up for newborn Festival Darlings

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Thomas Mai, the former TrustNordisk sales executive, has acquired distribution rights for the Dutch film Scum by Heinrich Dahms, for his newly created Festival Darlings sales outfit.

Scum (Schoft) is produced by Buzzmedia network, a Netherlands-based film production company that focuses on socially engaged feature films. The film deals with random violence amongst small town youth. “I really like the film. The acting is good and the story is intriguing,” said Mai.

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His new company Festival Darlings, intends to be a direct link between the producer and film consumers. Mai’s goal is to be the ‘sales agent of the next generation’, and to handle all media, from theatrical to DVD, VOD and COD. “I want to exploit every possible existing platform, including Amazon, YouTube, Facebook, to get a film sold” he said.

The respected sales agent has been working for TrustNordisk on and off over the last decade, with a few years in between spent in L.A. as head of Katapult Film Sales. Over the last two years, as Head of New Business for TrustNordisk, he has realised the shifting nature of the global distribution business and the quintessential role of new platforms in film rights exploitation. “I believe traditional distribution is not viable anymore, “he told Cineuropa.

“Unfortunately, distributors pay less and less. If ten years ago, you could sell a Danish film to France for €150,000, now you only sell it for €25,000. This speaks volume! The costs of theatrical distribution have become prohibitive, as DVD, TV revenues have fallen dramatically while P&A costs are increasing. There are also more products than buyers around. So it’s time for producers to stop thinking in terms of territories and exclusive deals and to see that this is the way to the future.”

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