Tag Archives: Cannes

International film distribution 101

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Mark Litwak, Entertainment Lawyer

Filmmakers fortunate enough to receive distribution offers for their films are often confronted with complex deals to distribute their films. These can bewilder those unfamiliar with the customs and practices of the industry. Let’s begin with a discussion of international film sales.

International sales agents are distributors, although they usually do not own a single theater, home video label or television outlet. They are essentially distributors that license films to territory distributors (“buyers”). Territory distributors acquire rights to exhibit a film within their country although sometimes they may license rights for several different countries. They often find out about films from sales agents whom they meet at various markets held throughout the year. Sales agents and buyers typically attend the three major film markets, which are at Cannes, Berlin and Santa Monica (AFM) as well as TV markets such as Mip and MipCom. This film markets are critical: last year’s Cannes Market alone boasted more than 1,100 sales agents and 10,000 participants from almost 100 different countries.

Sales agents not only license films, but also service buyers by providing them with various materials and elements, including film and video masters, key art, photos and trailers. Most filmmakers have no clue how to go about licensing their film, for instance, to a Turkish buyer, and what terms would be acceptable. Moreover, they don’t even know who the buyers are in most territories.

screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-6-44-39-pmTwo-thirds of all film revenue now comes from abroad. International sales grew 35 percent from 2007 to 2011, while revenue in North America increased a mere 6 percent. Over the past four years, the number of screens in China has doubled to more than 6,200, a number that’s expected to double again by 2015. Chinese box-office receipts hit a record $1.5 billion last year. With China and other rapidly developing countries building thousands of new theaters, this trend is expected to continue. Indeed, the North American market is by far the toughest market to crack for a low budget independent film without stars.

Reputable sales agents should be willing to accept terms in their contract with filmmakers that protect their interests. Many such provisions do not cost the sales agent anything, as long as the sales agent lives up to the terms of its contract. A requirement for interest on late payments, for example, costs the sales agent nothing as long as payments are made on time. Such a clause is important because it will encourage a sales agent to live up to its commitments, and provide the filmmaker with a viable remedy in case the sales agent defaults. While a competent sales agent provides valuable services, one should always remember the importance of what the filmmaker brings to the table. Without a good film, the sales agent has nothing to sell. Most sales agents produce few if any movies themselves.

Indeed, the North American market is by far the toughest market to crack for a low screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-6-55-20-pmbudget independent film without stars. International sales grew 35 percent from 2007 to 2011, while revenue in North America increased a mere 6 percent.

Here are just a few of the most critical ways for filmmakers to protect their interests in contracting with sales agents:

No changes. The film should not be edited or changed without the filmmaker’s approval. Editing for censorship purposes, television broadcast and changes made for a foreign language release is permissible.

Minimum advertising specified. Contracts should specify the minimum amount the sales agent will spend on promoting the film. These expenses could include advertising in the trade papers, a billboard or payment for a screening room for the film.

Expenses limited. There should be a floor and a ceiling on expenses. Market expenses should be limited to the first year of release and capped per market. Promotional expenses should be limited to direct out-of-pocket costs spent to promote the film, and should specifically exclude the sales agent’s general overhead and staff expenses.

Term. The term should be a reasonable length. The filmmaker should be able to regain rights to the film if the sales agent gives up on it. It is best to have a short initial term and a series of automatic rollovers that apply if certain performance milestones are met.

Indemnity. Filmmakers should be indemnified for any losses incurred as a result of the sales agent’s breach of the terms of the agreement or violation of third party rights.

Possession of negative. The sales agent should simply receive a lab access letter rather than possession of the original negative; the sales agent should not be permitted to remove masters from the laboratory.

Errors and omissions policy. It’s generally the filmmaker’s responsibility to purchase such an insurance policy, though sales agents sometimes may be willing to advance the cost of this insurance. In such an event, the filmmaker should be added as an additional named insured on the policy.

Termination clause. If the sales agent defaults on contractual obligations, the filmmaker should have the right to terminate the contract, and regain rights to license the film in unsold territories as well as obtain money damages. It is only fair for the filmmaker to give the sales agent reasonable prior notice of default before exercising her right to terminate.

Limitation on action. The filmmaker should have at least three years from receipt of any financial statement, or discovery of any accounting irregularity, whichever is later, to contest accounting errors.

Assignment. It is best to prohibit assignment unless filmmaker consents.

Warranties. The filmmaker’s warranties, in regard to infringement of third party rights, should be to the best of the filmmaker’s knowledge and belief, not absolute.

Schedule of minimums. Foreign sales agents should agree to attach to their contract a schedule of minimum acceptable license fees per territory.

Arbitration clause. Every contract should contain an IFTA arbitration clause ensuring that all contractual disputes are subject to binding arbitration with the prevailing party entitled to reimbursement of legal fees and costs. The arbitration award should be final, binding and non-appealable.

(Source:www.indiewire.com)

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Chicago Film Festival Marks 52nd Year

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Lisa Fielding

The Chicago International Film Festival is America’s longest running competitive film festival, and organizers are promising something for everyone this year.

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Michael Kutza, Founder and Director, Chicago International Film Festival. (Photo credit: Emily Oscarson)

“Young people films like ‘Trolls’ in 3D for kids, up to musicals like ‘La La Land,’ which is a big, Oscar potential, and we have a whole section on musicals. But really the festival is based on discovering new directors and honoring some of the old ones who’ve been here over the years,” says Michael Kutza, Founder and Artistic Director.

Kutza founded the CIFF in 1964 and has been bringing independent and foreign films to the masses for years.

“We do a mix of independent and Hollywood. We close with a big Hollywood film to tempt you to come see some of our foreign films. It’s a tough town, but we want to get you to see the world, and so we tempt you with Hollywood,” he says.

Kutza says not only does the festival educate fans about films they would never have seen otherwise, but the 15-day festival offers hundreds of feature films. It’s an opportunity to see many features before they are released.

“You want the best films, you want the winner of the Cannes Film Festival, Venice, Sundance, then you start with that. We go all over the world to find what’s best and bring it to film fans here in Chicago,” he says.

There will also be documentaries, films by first-time filmmakers, short-subject films, educational films, big name directors and actors along with films submitted for the Academy Awards.

There’s even a new section this year, an International Musical section.

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Programming Director Mimi Plauche, Chicago International Film Festival (Photo from http://www.tiff.ro.com)

“We found everything from an Israeli-Palestinian hip-hop musical. Three different Polish musicals were made this year, and we have two of them. It’s really kind of fun looking for and finding a whole new genre of films from around the world,” says Mimi Plauche, programming director.

This year’s main competition jury president is actress Geraldine Chaplin, daughter of Charlie Chaplin. She will join Kutza for a conversation about her career and the 23 days her famous father spent at Chicago’s Essanay Studios in 1915.

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Actress Geraldine Chaplin, daughter of Charlie Chaplin, will serve as the main competition jury president for the 52nd Chicago Film Festival. (Photo courtesy of Chicago International Film Festival)

“I was just in Cuba and spent ten days on a jury with Geraldine. I asked her if she’d ever been to Chicago and she said no. I told her to come and take part and we can honor you and you talk about your life and your dad’s films,” Kutza says.

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Directors Peter Bogdonovich, left, and Steve McQueen will be honored at the 52nd Chicago International Film Festival. (Photo credit: http://www.chicago.cbslocal.com)

This year, directors Peter Bogdonovich and Steve McQueen will be honored. The film fest opens on Thursday and runs through Oct. 27. For more information, click here.

(Source: http://www.chicago.cbslocal.com)

Acclaimed Polish film director Andrzej Wajda dies aged 90

 

Andrzej Wajda the acclaimed Polish director whose films reflected his country’s turbulent history, has died at the age of 90.

Reports in Poland said he died in hospital of lung failure after being put into a medically induced coma in recent days.

Director of films including Kanał, Katyń and the Palme d’Or-winning Man of Iron, Wajda was also awarded an Oscar for lifetime achievement

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Wajda after receiving his honorary Oscar in 2000 (Photo credit: Gary Hershorn/Reuters)

Wajda, who was awarded an Oscar for lifetime achievement in 2000, became a filmmaker only after being rejected by the army in 1939.

He attended Poland’s renowned Łódź film school after the second world war. His career took flight after winning the jury special prize at the Cannes film festival in 1957 for Kanał (Canal), about the doomed 1944 Warsaw uprising by Polish partisans against the Nazis.

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A still from Wajda’s 1957 film, Kanał. (Photo: Allstar/Kingsley-Int)

The award allowed Wajda to make his next film, Popiół i Diament (Ashes and Diamonds) in 1958 and cemented his position in Polish film.

In the 1970s Wajda turned to Polish literature for inspiration for Brzezina (Birch Wood, 1970), Wesele (The Wedding) two years later and Ziemia Obiecana (The Promised Land) in 1974.

At the 1977 Cannes festival, he screened Człowiek z marmuru (Man of Marble), a film critical of communist Poland.

It was followed three years later by Człowiek z żelaza (Man of Iron), focused on the rise of Poland’s anti-communist Solidarity trade union. That film won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1981, even as Poland’s then-communist regime cracked down on Solidarity and imposed martial law.

“The day of the Palme was a very important day in my life, of course. But I was aware that this prize wasn’t just for me. It was also a prize for the Solidarity union,” Wajda said in an interview in 2007.

The filmmaker donated the prestigious award to a Kraków museum, where it remains on display next to his other prizes, including the lifetime achievement Oscar.

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The 1981 Palme d’Or saved Wajda from being jailed by the communist regime – a fate that befell many of the director’s friends and colleagues – including Solidarity’s leader, Lech Wałęsa.

 

Wajda’s opposition to the regime of Poland’s communist leader, general Wojciech Jaruzelski, led him to make films abroad, including Danton (1983) in France, starring Gérard Depardieu.

Eine Liebe in Deutschland (A Love in Germany, 1986) followed in Germany and Wajda’s interpretation of Dostoyevsky’s The Possessed (1998) was shot in France.

After the collapse of communism in Poland in 1989, Wajda returned to the country’s wartime history, focusing on stories suppressed by the communists. Korczak (1990) details the fate of Janusz Korczak, a pre-war Polish-Jewish children’s author and physician who died in the Holocaust.

With Pierścionek z orłem w koronie (The Crowned-Eagle Ring, 1993), Wajda once again turned to the 1944 Warsaw uprising. Wielki Tydzień (Holy Week, 1995) examined the 1943 Warsaw ghetto uprising – the doomed rebellion against the Nazis by Jewish partisans.

One of his last films, Katyń – nominated for an Oscar in 2008 – tells the story of his father, Jakub Wajda, who was one of 22,500 Polish officers killed by the Soviets in 1940 in the Katyn forest. Last year he directed Powidoki, which is Poland’s official entry for this year’s Academy Awards.

(Source: http://www.theguardian.com)

Your Guide to 8 of the Most Exciting Movies at the New York Film Festival

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Kevin LIncoln and Kyle Buchanan

While it doesn’t have the glitz of Venice, the breadth of Toronto, or the Cannesiness of Cannes, the New York Film Festival is still a heavy-hitting stop in the fall-prestige cycle. In addition to a few major fall releases that have already screened in the United States — including Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea, Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women, and Barry Jenkins’s Moonlight — the slate includes the U.S. premieres of some big-time movies, as well as two major worldwide debuts. Here are the highlights.

13th
Ava DuVernay’s new documentary is named for the 13th Amendment, which contains the clause that seems to presage mass incarceration in the United States: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.” If there’s anyone who can take on a topic as weighty and complex as the prison system in modern America, it’s DuVernay, whose clear-eyed and humanizing approach seems like the ideal fit for a subject this inhumane.

20th Century Women
If you responded to Mills’s heartfelt and funny Beginners, which won Christopher Plummer a well-deserved Oscar, you’re likely to spark to this one, where Annette Bening stars as a witty, fretful single mother who enlists lodger Greta Gerwig and neighbor Elle Fanning to help raise her 15-year-old son. And if you respond to throwback attire, you’re definitely going to spark to every single jumpsuit, vintage tee, and denim jacket worn in this 1979-set film. 

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
Besides being an Ang Lee film that’s likely going to be part of the Best Picture race, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk is also sure to generate conversation for its technical ambition. Lee shot the movie, which adapts Ben Fountain’s novel about an Iraq War hero who returns home, at 120 frames per second versus the standard 24, with the intent of creating one of the most realistic and hypervisceral depictions of war ever to be shown on a movie screen. Regardless of how Billy Lynn turns out — and hopes are high — the 4K 3-D showing at NYFF should be a notable experience in and of itself.

Elle
A comedy about — wait for it — a woman brazenly overcoming her own rape, director Paul Verhoeven’s first film in French was one of the most talked-about films at Cannes. It’s also one of two acclaimed movies coming out this fall featuring the French actress Isabelle Huppert, whose Things to Come, directed by up-and-comer Mia Hansen-Løve, is also showing at NYFF. While Huppert’s two-pronged Oscar push could be a major awards-season narrative, Elle is worth seeing in its own right: Verhoeven is many things, but he’s never boring.

Jackie
Natalie Portman gives a brave, ballsy performance as Jackie Kennedy in this Pablo Larrain–directed biopic, which shrugs off the stodginess so often endemic to this genre in pursuit of something even bigger than real. Portman’s Jackie is no shrinking violet, though the men around her would love it if she played the dutiful, porcelain-faced wife even after the tragic assassination of her husband. How she, in turn, manipulates the image-crafters around her in one last bid for agency gives Jackie its startling kick.

Paterson
In an industry defined by big, loud, expensive superhero movies, Jim Jarmusch exists as the ultimate outlier. His movies are quiet, cool, and indie to the core, and new one Paterson sounds no different: Adam Driver plays a bus driver in Paterson, New Jersey, whose name is also Paterson, and who writes poems, and who hangs out with his wife and dog, and … that’s pretty much it. But that’s enough, and after raves out of Cannes, this should be the kind of film that gives a certain kind of moviegoer hope.

Personal Shopper
Personal Shopper
director Olivier Assayas recently stated, in no uncertain terms, that Kristen Stewart is the best actress of her generation. If this comes as an unusual suggestion to you, then you haven’t been paying close-enough attention, because KStew has, truly, become a must-see performer — including in Assayas’s most recent movie, Clouds of Sils Maria, for which she won a César Award, something no American actress has ever done before. With a strange premise — Stewart’s character is a personal shopper and, also, a medium, meaning there are fancy clothes AND a ghost — and a famously divisive reception at Cannes, this gives the best actress of her generation one of the most anticipated films of the fall.

The Lost City of Z
James Gray’s last film The Immigrant was under-seen and under-heralded, as James Gray films tend to be. But his new one, The Lost City of Z, gives him an unusually sexy topic: The British explorer Percy Fawcett’s search for a city in the Amazon rain forest, based on the book of the same name by the virtuoso New Yorker writer David Grann. Hopefully, it can bring Gray the wide audience he deserves; at the very least, audiences in the know can savor a new film from one of the most thoughtful contemporary American directors.

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(Source: http://www.vulture.com)

The 29th #TIFF will join the Cannes Film Festival 2016

Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) and its affiliated business market TIFFCOM will participate in the 69th Cannes Film Festival to promote the TIFF to industry people from around the world.
The 29th TIFF will be held from October 25 to November 3, 2016 for 10 days in Tokyo, Japan.

Contact:
For meeting request in Cannes or any inquiries about the 29th TIFF, please contact Ms.Azusa KENJO at azusa.kenjo@tiff-jp.net

■ Japan Booth (Organized by UNIJAPAN/JETRO)
Opening date & time; May 11th – 20th, 9:00am-6:00pm
Venue; Palais Stand number; Palais 01 –Booth 23.01
-Participants from UNIJAPAN
Yuko YAMADA (Ms.), Kenta FUDESAKA (Mr.) E-mail: inquiry@tiffcom.jp

■ 4 Japanese films are invited to the 69th Cannes  Film Festival!
– Un Certain Regard

After The Storm by KORE-EDA Hirokazu


©2016 FUJI TELEVISION NETWORK/ BANDAI VISUAL/ AOI Pro. Inc./ GAGA CORPORATION All rights reserved.

 

HARMONIUM by FUKADA Koji


©2016 FUCHI NI TATSU FLIM PARTNERS & COMME DES CINEMAS

– Cannes Classics
Momotarô, Umi no shinpei (Momotaro, Sacred Sailors) by SEO Mitsuyo
Ugetsu monogatari (Ugetsu) by MIZOGUCHI Kenji


Submit Your Film to the 29th TIFF!

We are now accepting entries to the 29th TIFF Competition. Applications for submitting films are now being accepted on the official TIFF website (Deadline: July 8, 2016). For a summary of the regulations for the Competition 2016, please visit the TIFF website; www.tiff-jp.net, or contact us by e-mail at competition2016@tiff-jp.net. TIFF looks forward to a larger number of submissions from around the world.

(Source: TIFF Public Relations Division)