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“Nuestra obsesión es ser lo más eclécticos y diversos que podamos”

Informe de industria: Distribución, exhibición y streaming

Marie-Laure Montironi • Agente de ventas, Pathé Film


La agente de ventas francesa detalla los métodos de trabajo de su compañía y las últimas tendencias del mercado, entre otros temas

Marie-Laure Montironi • Agente de ventas, Pathé Film
(© Vincent Bousserez)

Este artículo está disponible en inglés.

We chatted to Marie-Laure Montironi, EVP International at Pathé. During our conversation, we zoomed in on the company’s efforts to sell its own productions and co-productions, and the current climate for sales.

Cineuropa: First of all, how is your company staffed?
Marie-Laure Montironi:
I head up the international division of Pathé Film. There are approximately 70 of us. The international division is made up of eight people reporting directly to me, with four of us in charge of sales, including myself. Like many other companies, we divide people’s work by territory: one person is dealing with Asia and the English-speaking territories, another person is dealing with the [former] Eastern Bloc, Scandinavia and Latin America, while a third one is dealing with South-East Asia and the catalogue, and I’m dealing with the USA, Germany and Italy.

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How many titles do you represent each year?
We handle between ten and 12 titles a year. We mostly work on the productions and co-productions of Pathé. We rarely get a sales mandate from external productions, since our core business is also to produce and distribute in the French market. As you know, we also own theatres, so we aim to sell what we produce and co-produce.

You said that you rarely pick up external titles. But how often does that happen?
That’s going to be once every three years. That would really be more of an exception, depending on our slate.

What about the size of your catalogue?
The size of our catalogue is approximately 1,500 titles.

When do you invest or help to fund films?
We try to be really ahead of time and [enter] the process as early as possible – financially and artistically. And obviously, we fund films either as a sole producer or as a co-producer with other outfits.

How do you see your work now, after the recent changes prompted by the pandemic? How has it changed over the last three years?
Of course, a lot has shifted because everything was digital, so it wasn’t that easy to connect with people. However, I think we now tend to call each other and do Teams and Zooms [hangouts] on a very frequent basis. And that really helped us. However, with new people, this was more difficult [to handle], [especially] when you didn't know each other then, when you were forming new connections... So, if you were very senior in the business, and you really knew the people you used to work with, then it was pretty fluid. Again, with new connections, it’s been a bit tougher, so it’s been such a relief to see each other again in person as of last year. Our work was pretty fluid with all the “usual suspects” – our usual clients and the distributors [we work with] around the world.

What about your travel habits? Did they change to some extent?
I think we probably began travelling much more when everything opened up. We’ve been trying to catch up, you know? Since then – now it’s been maybe 18 months – we've been travelling a lot. And we’re really happy to get together again at physical markets. Although we know it’s possible to do business remotely, at Pathé, we still think it’s essential to go to places, go to markets and travel as much as possible. There is nothing better than seeing each other in person.

From a broader perspective, how is the role of the sales agent changing in Europe?
Since habits have changed a lot for consumers and cinemagoers – of course, they have been on platforms a lot more than they used to – we think it’s more important than ever to try and sell territory by territory to independent buyers. That’s something we really want to pursue. However, we’re also keen to work with global platforms as well as with smaller, local ones. We try to be as open as possible in terms of opportunities for the films to be exhibited. They all need some content. Even though it's been difficult bringing cinemagoers back to the theatres, we’re getting there. We've been lucky in France, but it's been a bit slower in other European territories.

Could you mention a few recent titles from your slate?
In the first semester of 2023, we had the fifth film in the Asterix franchise, Asterix & Obelix: The Middle Kingdom [+lee también:
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which was released in France in February and all around the world since then. We also had The Three Musketeers: D'Artagnan [+lee también:
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, which has been released globally since April. […] Our obsession is to be as eclectic as possible and as diverse as possible. So [on our slate], we have some spectacular movies like the ones I mentioned, but also some big comedies like the Dany Boon-led Life for Real. We also have some director-driven films, such as those by Matteo Garrone, Alice Winocour and Xavier Beauvois. It’s very important for Pathé to be able to convey all those messages, in France and around the world. So we're very picky with what we choose because we can work on between ten and 12 films a year. [...] It’s important for us to be able to “feed” an audience that is as large as possible. That’s why we read a lot, we see stage plays, we option books, we study every opportunity, and we scout talents even from smaller or medium-sized festivals.

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