Worldwide execs from Unifrance, MK2 and TrustNordisk kicked off the annual Zurich Summit on Saturday to debate the significance of movie festivals when selling a title and if fests are drifting away from what works in cinemas.
Talking on the metropolis’s Dolder Grand Resort, the place the boutique trade occasion is hosted every year alongside the Zurich Movie Pageant, Unifrance’s government director Daniela Elstner mentioned, “We are in a very shifting world and we of course need the festivals but as a promotion agency in France we are also questioning ourselves and asking what is the best way to to be present at a festival to help the films get out and I think the press plays a major part in that.”
She added, “We get behind festivals but on the other hand we are also rethinking our future right now as we take into account what is actually the best way to help our films get out there.”
MK2’s managing director Fionnuala Jamison, who was behind current Palme d’Or winner Anatomy of a Fall from director Justine Triet, famous that having a movie win huge at a significant worldwide movie competition was an enormous driver for pulling in worldwide audiences.
Jamison mentioned: “I know that Neon [the film’s U.S. distributor] did a little test screening for Justine Triet’s film [Anatomy of a Fall] for 250 cinemagoers in the United States…and the number one driving force for them to go was the Palme d’Or. And that’s really changed in the last few years.”
TrustNordisk’s managing director Susan Wendt mentioned it was vital to have a strategic overview for the journey of a movie and never simply go for festivals which are occurring when a movie is prepared. “It’s really important not to just say, ‘Ok the film might be ready for autumn so let’s go for the autumn festivals’ but to really evaluate creating the right festival platforms for the films.”
Speaking about one in every of their newest titles, The Promised Land, starring Mads Mikkelsen, she mentioned: “The thinking was very strategic from the beginning. We were hoping for it to become the Danish Oscar entry, which it now is and for that the timing was perfect and we tried to get into Toronto, which is not an easy task, but we succeeded in that and then all the other festivals came afterwards.”
She added, “It’s perfect for that film because it’s very tough competition this year.”
Elstner warned that not all movies are match for festivals only for the intention to cross worldwide borders. “We have very big French comedies that do actually cross borders but are not necessarily part of our festivals,” she says, including that attempting to push most of these movies down the incorrect avenue “could actually backfire.”
She cautioned that it’s not a one-size-fits all strategy for worldwide movies: “We are really trying to be very careful with that and I have huge discussions with producers about this.”