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You are in: Home > 2010. 58th Edition  > Festival Diary > Donostia biz gears up
Festival Diary » THE INDUSTRY CLUB
Donostia biz gears up
Saturday, September 18th, 2010

Buenos Aires-based FilmSharks Intl. has taken international rights to Eddie Saeta’s Aita, which plays San Sebastian’s main Competition Sunday. FilmSharks will also rep around 10 films in Eddie Saeta’s back catalogue.

The deal, sealed in the run-up to the Basque festival, underscores the Donostia effect. Sales agents won’t take a movie just because it screen at San Sebastian. But a major berth sure sweetens the effect.

“It’s important to be in competition in one of the biggest festivals in the world,”
said FilmSharks founder Guido Rud. The Eddie Saeta-FilmSharks deal adds to a
building body of pacts, triggered by, or affecting the San Sebastian selection:
Madrid-based sales agent Imagina Intl. Sales has picked up foreign on Oberon’s
buzzed Elisa K.
Top Spanish speciality distributor Alta Films has bought rights to Santiago Segura-
starrer The Great Vazquez, another Golden Seashell contender.
Golem, another top local dstrubutorexhibitor, has picked up Spain on Bent
Hamer’s Home for Christimas.
Frederic Corvez’s U Media, a Parisbased production house and sales agency,
has acquired overseas rights to Colombia’s Zabaltegi New Directors player The
Colors of the Mountain.

Alta bought Vazquez simply because it liked it a lot, said Alta’s Enrique Gonzalez-
Kuhn.

Golem signed off on Christmas, though a verbal agreement was already in place,
as its Competition berth was announced, said Golem’s Josetxo Moreno.

San Sebastian audience reaction is a good acid test of a film’s playability,he added.

Just because business has been done doesn’t mean it’s over.

Growing some, exponentially,Toronto has proved a festival twister, sucking in buyers from all over the world. It’s not just that most buyers don’t frequent San Sebastia: They don’t frequent Locarno, Montreal or Venice either.

But San Sebastian biz can still play off three factors.

Over the last decade, Latin America’s industries have powered up, producing a
bevy of exciting emerging auteurs who command sales abroad.

Funny Balloons’ sale of Post Mortem to Italy’s Archibald Films was one of the
first deals struck on the Lido at Venice.

Showcasing unseen films from often new auteurs, Films in Progress remains
the jewel in San Sebastian’s industry crown, offering genuine niche discoveries.

“Checking out Films in Progress is one good reason to come to San Sebastian,”
said Wide Management’s Loic Magneron. It can also spark deals.

Second, good San Sebastian reception can prime biz: upbeat play for Aita
could spark Spanish TV deals, or international sales, said Eddie Saeta’s Luis Minarro.

Last, Spain rates with the U.S. and Japan as one of the three most difficult
markets in the world. And all of Spain’s distributors attend San Sebastian.

So cohorts of sales agents, - 15 this year just from France, far more than at Venice - swing into town to dine and court Spanish distributors. Expected this year are also Fortissimo and Match Factory, for starters.

“San Sebastian serves to continue conversations from Toronto,” said Magneron.
Wide Management will be presenting Gigola, which has a part-Spanish main cast.

Going into San Sebastian, some key competish titles from name auteurs, Kim Jee-woon’s I Saw the Devil and John Sayles’s Amigo - still look open for sale to Spain.

Many Spanish distributors were at Toronto: Wanda,DeAPlaneta, Alta, Savor, Filmax,Vertice,TriPictures were just some.

But not all Spanish distrubutors made the trip: Golem no-showed, for instance.

So San Sebastián could advance biz first mooted at the Canadian fest. In the Basque resort anyone who’s anyone in Spain’s distribution world is in attendance.


John HOPEWELL
Emiliano MAYORGA

 

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