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Tipped for Venice, Toronto and A Case Study (Part III)

by Sydney Levine
June 30, 2010 7:02 AM
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This will be an ongoing list until titles are confirmed by the festivals.


READERS: Pick and submit your own tips and I'll publish them here. But don't choose on a whim and a wish. You need to know your film is actually the sort of film one of these festivals would be likely to pick, and that your film really belongs in this sort of festival. And they must not have shown at any other festival outside of your native country. More on festival strategizing in another blog. Give the title, director, producer and contact information.

I start with my own pick, a jewel I wrote about in Cannes in the blog Discovery of a Jewel. Hopefully we will be able to follow this film's path toward success as a sort of case study. But if it does not show up in one of these three fall festivals (or in Locarno), then its path is murky..though of course there is always Sundance, Rotterdam and Berlin in the winter. What of the important specialized festivals that might help this film launch itself into the larger world? I have no crystal ball. The best of films can fall by the wayside for lack of a solid marketing strategy.

Festivals have their own tastes and agendas and to know them is crucial to your own film strategy which you must have, and the sooner the better.

Festivals offer the dream scenario of every acquisitions person. Each goes with the thrilling hope of finding the gem which lies buried and undiscovered. No one knows of it and somehow it comes only to them. Then The Big Dilemma hits the jaded acquisition executive who is tired out from watching at least five films a day: Is the film really as good as it seems? It is difficult to judge objectively when one's instincts are blunted by too many of the wrong films and when no one else is talking about this particular film. You don't want to look like a jerk in front of your crew, the executives who hold the money, have not seen the film, might not get the value you see and want hard facts to back your choice. This film has a creepy beauty to it. Think The Vanishing (1988) meets The Orphanage. A couple in a car...driving...a family home visited a long time ago or perhaps never even known about before inheriting it...

These are not the kinds of films tagged with "success". They're genre and they're in a foreign language! That's the response we expect. It takes a brave person of vision to go counter to the crowd mentality, an occupational hazard of acquisitions and distribution people.

The Heir (L'Erede)
www.eredefilm.com
A film by Michael Zampino (an Italian who just graduated from film school NYU)
Produced by Frederic Olllier (a French man living in Italy who has recently left film financing to produce this film)
Starring Alessandro Roja and Guia Jelo.

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