By Erin Grover | SydneysBuzz August 8, 2014 at 10:08AM
Our International Sales Agent (ISA) of the Day coverage resumed for this year's Cannes Film Festival. We feature successful, upcoming, innovative and trailblazing agents from around the world (during and after the festival) and cover the latest trends in sales and distribution. Beyond the numbers and deals, this segment will also share inspirational and unique stories of how these individuals have evolved and paved their way in the industry, and what they envision for the new waves in global cinema.
Other Angle Pictures is a fresh and energetic film sales and acquisitions company with a welcoming boutique approach and an unparalleled and eclectic slate. Based in Paris, it was started by the husband and wife team of Laurence Schonberg and Olivier Albou.
It's impressive that Other Angle Pictures has only been around for five years; this family style company has been on a steady climb and has scored great success with films that most thought would never succeed. At last year's Cannes Film Festival, cop comedy “On the Other Side of the Tracks" starring Omar Sy of "The Untouchables", sold to over 40 territories and was picked up by The Weinstein Co.
This year, sales have also been solid with Asia Argento’s Un Certain Regard entry "Incompresa" starring Charlotte Gainsbourg, "Babysitting", the second highest grossing French comedy of the year, and "GO GO BOYS", a documentary about legendary producers Menachem Golam and Yoram Globus (which was in Cannes Classics and is getting ready for a solid international rollout).
Angle Pictures intends to develop its slate with more English language projects
moving forward. The company is
its first film "The Beggars," which is in a similar vein as "The
Band's Visit". It will star "Monsieur Lazar's" Fellag and
will be directed by Daniel Cohen who directed "Le Chef" (recently released
by Cohen Media).
General Manager Laurence Shonberg and head of Sales and Acquisitions Nathan Fischer took time to share their backgrounds, success and intentions moving forward...
Laurence: We decided to create our company because we had the vision of bringing something new to the market. Since then, we decided to focus on finding films that no one expected to break out. We started with a comedy called "The French Kissers", which was in the Cannes Director’s fortnight in 2009. It sold two million tickets in France and was distributed worldwide.
This year is a breakout year for us. We had three movies in Cannes. Two were chosen for Un Certain Regard, and one was a Cannes Classique. We're a small family company, and we're very excited and proud of this. It has a lot of heart, and that's what Other Angle is looking for - films with heart, films that aren't expected to do well in the beginning, films that are going to be something special to the audience, and films that are funny, moving and sincere. Our films speak to what's important in life.
We are leading in French comedies, but we're definitely moving towards more international, director-oriented films. We hope to be a magnet for international directors looking for co-production opportunities. I think that's really the way to evolve right now, and getting involved in sales at an early stage.
We also have French mainstream comedies that are great potential remake movies, like Babysitting, or "The Last Diamond", by Barbier Eric, which was recently acquired by Cohen Media. My First Star is a story of a family on a ski trip for the first time. It's based on a true story of a guy from Martinique who came from a poor family. We sold the remake rights to Chris Rock, and he's working on it right now. It's a very funny and moving story.
Nathan: I first lived in Los Angeles when I was 20 and worked as a production assistant for Anonymous Content. It was a great place, and I realized that I only wanted to be in film. I kept doing internships, and started doing international sales with Wild Bunch. They had "The Artist", "Polisse" and a number of great films that broke out of Cannes. This is how I learned how exciting international sales could be. After this time, I traveled in Asia for a year, before coming back to Los Angeles where I had stints with Endgame Entertainment, Voltage Pictures, and went on to work for the producers of The Lunchbox.
This gave me a better understanding of the leading markets. I think that international sales are great when you're passionate about film, but you also have to be passionate about your distributors and your territories.
Laurence: Olivier started with UGC as the head of international sales, and sold "Amelie" worldwide. Following this, he was hired to work at Warner Bros as the director of international distribution in the US for three years and then moved on to be the director of acquisitions at TF1 in France.
We care about our films. It's not just one more film; we have strong relationships with our producers, and keep them updated every step of the way. We form a community with our clients and treat them like family. It's more than a business for us; it's our life.
More about Other Angle Pictures:
Other Angle Pictures is an international sales and acquisitions company involved in features films from France and other countries. We are not handling more than 10 films a year for foreign sales, in order to provide filmmakers and our clients with the best possible care and service. We also acquire foreign films for France, and are involved in international co-productions