By Sydney Levine | Sydneys Buzz October 12, 2010 at 3:30AM
We have all have gone to discussions on distribution where the distributors despair in the face of high costs to advertise, difficulty in getting theatrical releases, no returns on social networking and other new internet initiatives. After attending one in San Sebastian hosted by European Film Promotion, we were notified that one of the supporters, Europa Distribution, might want to tell more people in the business about its mission. My discussion with the founder Adeline Monzier opens up possibilities for U.S. distributors even though they do not receive any government financial aid. Europa Distribution is the voice of independent distributors. Europa Distribution began in 2006 when Adeline left DIRE, the French Association of Independent Distributors which is a lobby and syndicate. ED is a lobby and also a network to introduce distributors to one another and also organize workshops. She is residing for the moment in New York where her husband is at Columbia doing research in physics.
ED started with 40 and now has 80 members 24 countries from Europa. Growth shows the need. France is especially strong but list of members includes larger distribs like Wild Bunch in France, Prokino in Germany and also smaller ones with riskier films from Asia, Africa or Latin America.
ED prefers organizing workshops at smaller festivals so there can be discussion.e.g., with EFP at San Sebastian, at Annecy had Animation workshop, Paris Cinema in July and their big annual conference which will take place in Estoril, Portugal Nov 22-14 after AFM. Workshops take place throughout the year with case studies on movie releases in one country which will go to other countries as well. Recently workshops centered on Le Quattre Volte, Fish Tank,and A Prophet. The distributor shares the market strategy, experience, expertise, and costs e.g., posters, trailers, etc.
They also discuss larger, more general topics like the Digital Rollout, or VOD, or how distributors can become co-producers and how does that work. At its own forward-thinking conferences, and at key events and festivals around Europe, it has become an important and constructive voice in the debate about the future of the independent film industry. The annual conference at Estoril in Portugal, for example, has given a lead to European debates on digital change. And it has demonstrated a willingness to embrace innovation with new dynamic services.
At EFM and Cannes they have cocktails but everyone is too busy to stop and discuss or share.
I mentioned the recent news that Norway’s theaters are about to have all become digital and what she thought of that. It is good. The state funded it with moneys from theaters, distributors and public film bodies who created a common fund. They designed their model upon the U.S. model and while it seems good, there are of course people in Norway who do not like it. It is very hard to find a way to please everyone. The U.S. model, called VPF which stands for Virtual Print Feed, calls for the majors and distributors to pay the theaters because in the long run digitization will create savings which the theaters can then use for other enhancements. But since the cost of digitizing is great, to keep things above board and to keep the banks happy, there are collection agencies which put themselves between the distributors and the theaters and they charge quite high fees. Norway created a collection agency as well, but with a much smaller fees.
I have heard from distributors around the world that there is no place for them to meet one another; even Cannes does not offer an event where networking among distributors is key. Though U.S. distributors are competitive, where as in Europe the Swedish distributor of a film is in no way competitive, still a ad-hoc association if nothing more would be great.
She is talking with IFP’s Amy Dotson and just attended its recent Film Week and thinks it would be a good idea for Europa Distribution to organize an event with U.S. distributors. It might bring in more European distributors – I know IFP would welcome the international expansion. I suggested Lincoln Center Film Society and Eugene Hernandez might also add something to the mix.
Last year, just after the Berlinale, they launched an online database called CDNet (Cinema Distribution) which lists all the European distributors, their films, the release dates,box office figures after release, posters and print art. Data is entered by the distributors. Perhaps IndieWIRE’s new distributor profiles could feed into that somehow. Eugene H. can address that.
Finally, they are also active in Latin America where they conduct training workshops for European and Latino distributors and exhibitors. Cine Sin Fronteras met in Toulouse at Encuentros last spring and is going to meet again at Valdivia Film Festival coming up.
They are so blessed that the European Union subsidizes this through MEDIA International which recognizes that there are lots of connections to create between the two continents. Why oh why don’t we have such as government body to help cultural growth!
CIDINET, a new online European distribution database which is being made available to Europa Distribution members and to subscribers (distributors, sales agents….) with the support of the MEDIA PROGRAMME of the European Union.
The database covers distribution data in all European territories: release date, promotional material
(local poster, local trailer), technical material (2K master, Blu-Ray, language versions), BO figures,
number of prints and release strategy. The database is closely monitored by Europa Distribution. It’s
based on a collaborative and participative approach from its users and on efficient partnerships with
Cineuropa.org, Cinando and national organizations collecting local BO figures.
Updated and expanded on a daily basis, CIDINET aims to offer an essential new service for the
European industry, giving distributors a wide view of how the movies they have in their line-up are
released in other European countries, and allowing a better sharing of information, experiences and
Users can already find 1100 recent film profiles (2008-2010) and 650 companies profiles (European
distributors and international sales agents) on the database.
CIDINET will be refined and improved on a daily basis to ensure that it becomes an essential
business tool for European distributors. Europa Distribution is keen to encourage an ongoing
dialogue between distributors, sales agents and the CIDINET team in order to get their feedback and
so that each entry remains current and relevant.
About Europa Distribution
Europa Distribution, with a membership of 80 leading independent distributors representing 22 countries,
serves as the voice of the European independent film distributor. It acts as a lobby, a think tank as well as a
network and aims to develop a strong European film industry. The Dardenne Brothers are the Presidents of
Honour of the Association and the Board of Administration is chaired by Régine VIAL (Les Films du Losange /
France) & Antonio MEDICI (Bim / Italy).
More information on www.europa-distribution.org / www.cidinet.eu
In Berlin : Isabelle OBADIA – isabelle.obadia AT europa-distribution.org + 33 6 11 31 12 12
Adeline MONZIER - adeline.monzier AT europa-distribution.org
With the support of the MEDIA Programme of the European Union:
Austria Filmladen, Michael Stejskal – Polyfilm, Hans Koenig.
Belgium ABC, Nicolaine Den Breejen – Cineart-Cinelibre, Eliane du Bois & Stephan de Potter – Imagine Films, Christian Thomas & Tinne Bral – Le Parc Distribution, Jean-Pierre Pécasse – Lumière, Jan de Clerq & Annemie Degryse – O’Brother, Olivier Bronckart – Paradiso Filmed Entertainment, Olivier Mortagne.
Bulgaria Pro Films, Emil Simeonov
Croatia Continental Film, Martin Milinkovic
Czech Republic Artcam, Přemysl Martinek
Denmark Camera Films, Kim Foss – Ost for Paradis, Ole Bjorn Christensen – Scanbox, Mikael Modig.
Finland Scanbox, Mikael Modig
France Ad Vitam, Alexandra Henochsberg – Art’mell, François Cohen-Séat – Bac Films, Roch Lenner – Chrysalis, Pierre-François Bernet – Diaphana, Michel Saint-Jean – Epicentre, Dabiel Chabannes – Les Films du Losange, Régine Vial – Gebeka, Marc Bonny – Haut et Court, Carole Scotta – Heliotrope, Laurent Haléonard – Jour de Fête, Etienne Ollagnier & Sarah Chazelle – Memento Films Distribution, Alexandre Mallet-Guy – MK2, Nathanaël Karmitz – Pyramide, Eric Lagesse – Rezo Films, Jean-Michel Rey – Shellac, Thomas Ordonneau – Sophie Dulac Distribution, Sophie Dulac – Wildbunch Distribution, Jean-Philippe Tirel.
Germany Alamode Film, Fabien Arseguel & Tobias Lehmann – Kool Filmdistribution, Michael Isele – Prokino, Ira von Gienanth & Emma Klopf – Schwarzweiss-Filmverleih, Matthias Keuthen - Senator Film Verleih, Peter Heinzemann.
Greece Filmtrade, Vassilis Sourapas – PCV SA, Peggy Carajopoulou-Vavali – Rosebud, Zinos Panagiotidis.
Hungary Budapest Film, Gabor Csurdi
Italy Bim distribuzione, Valerio de Paolis & Antonio Medici – Lucky Red, Andrea Occhipinti & Stefano Massenzi – Mikado, .
Lithuania Kino Pasaka, Greta Akcijonaite
Netherlands Amstelfilm, Krijn Meerburg & Marieke Jonker – Cineart Netherlands, Eliane du Bois & Wallie Pollé – Cinemien, Nicolaine den Breejen – Filmmuseum, Monica Eckelkamp – Moonlight Films, Clement van Droffelaar & Jean B. Heijl – Paradiso Entertainment Nederlands, Martien Uyttendaele.
Norway Arthaus, Svend Jensen – EuropaFilm, Egil Odegard – Tour de Force, Tor Fosse & Kristian Fyllingsnes.
Poland Gutek, Jakub Duszinski – Kinoswiat, Marcin Piasecki
Portugal Atalanta Filmes, Paolo Branco – Midas, Pedro Borges – Valentim de Carvalho, Luis Froes.
Serbia MCF Megacom Film, Igor Stankovic
Slovenia Tisa Film, Jelka Stergel
Spain Alta Films, Enrique Gonzales Kuhn – Golem, Josetxo Moreno – Karma Films, Miguel Angel Perez – Vertice Cine, Jesús Prieto Sacristan – Wanda Vision, Miguel Morales.
Sweden Folkets Bio, Marie Booberg – Non Stop Entertainment, Ignas Scheynius – Scanbox, Mikael Modig.
Switzerland Agora, Laurent Dutoit – Cineworx, Pascal Trächslin – Filmcoopi, Felix Hächler – Frenetic, Monika Weibel & Daniel Treichler – Look now!, Bea Cuttat – Xenix, Cyril Thurston.
United Kingdom Artificial Eye, Louisa Dent – Metrodome, Mark Webster – Soda Pictures, Edward Fletcher.
UNMI Kosovo Genci/Kino ABC, Milazim Salihu
Contact : Adeline Monzier – email@example.com / www.europa-distribution.org