“Il mercato è sempre più polarizzato”
Rapporto industria: Distribuzione, esercenti e streaming
Alice Lesort • Venditrice, Les Films du Losange
L'agente di vendita francese ha parlato di come sta cambiando il mercato, costringendo agenti di vendita e distributori a essere più selettivi con i contenuti che trattano
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Cineuropa chatted to Alice Lesort, Head of International Sales at Paris-based Les Films du Losange. During our conversation ahead of this year’s Berlinale (16-26 February), we covered different topics such as the firm’s editorial policy, the titles they represent and how the market has been changing over the last few years.
Cineuropa: Could you please elaborate on your editorial policy?
Alice Lesort: We’re very much of an arthouse-orientated company, handling mostly European films. We’re a production, distribution and sales agent altogether, [as] we’ve different departments within the same company. Generally speaking, having a distribution arm is very helpful when dealing with foreign distributors.
How is the company staffed?
We’re sixteen people. Four of us are fully dedicated to the sales department.
How many titles do you represent each year?
We represent 6-8 fresh titles per year. It’s our choice to do just a few films. We could do more, but right now the market is tough, and each film takes an incredible amount of time and energy. We don’t want to take many films because we want to provide each one of them with the work it needs, to properly get into the market and get distributed in as many territories as possible. On the other hand, we have a very big catalogue [to work on], which hosts 300 films – including those of Éric Rohmer, Michael Haneke, Jean Eustache and other strong directors. So we work in both directions, taking care of new titles and catalogue films.
Do you invest in films at the production stage, or help to fund them?
Yes, but there’s no [fixed] rule, really. We are producing and co-producing several films, but we’re also very faithful to our directors, and with some partner companies we’re very much involved [already] at the development stage. We’re currently co-producing new films by Joachim Lafosse [A Silence [+leggi anche:
intervista: Joachim Lafosse
scheda film]] and Barbet Schroeder [Ricardo]. Especially when it comes to international sales, it’s interesting to give feedback to producers and directors from a very early stage, for example saying how certain choices could be perceived abroad. Then we do happen to acquire – sometimes – finished films like Dominik Graf’s Fabian - Going to the Dogs [+leggi anche:
intervista: Albrecht Schuch
scheda film], which was a hit in Berlin two years ago. The fact we pick few films each year gives us this flexibility. If the film is a masterpiece, we can totally go for it. So most of the time, we’re involved at an early stage such as in the case of Lola Quivoron’s Rodeo [+leggi anche:
intervista: Lola Quivoron e Julie Ledru
scheda film] and Mia Hansen-Løve’s One Fine Morning [+leggi anche:
scheda film], but it’s not a strict rule. We’re open to be producers, co-producers or get a simple mandate on the film to handle international sales and/or French distribution. We adapt to each project.
How has your work changed over the last two, three years?
For us, within the market – as it is now, post-pandemic – the biggest challenge is the acquisition stage. The market is more and more polarised. There are still films that sell very well worldwide, and we can see them. But the number of these films has drastically reduced. Foreign distributors are more and more picky for obvious reasons. So we need to be extremely picky too, when we choose our films. Of course, we do follow our artistic ‘demands’ but we also cross-check it with our expertise to see if a given movie has international potential. We’re even more cautious than we used to be and we need to be more focused than ever. [...] Also, we tend to travel a bit less, but we’re still very much present at all the important markets. So I don’t think our job has changed that much, except for these particular aspects.
Are you pursuing any strategies in terms of diversity of content as well as within your own firm?
It’s quite well-known that Les Films du Losange has been a quite feminine place. […] The majority of our departments are led by women. Besides that, I don’t think you can ‘intellectualise’ that [search for diversity] too much, I think that if you’re looking for modern films with really accurate visions of the world, you can only take the diversity path, it’s the only way!
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