This year, many international film markets are running virtually or in a hybrid format, provoking new changes to the traditional sales model and calendar. How will the independent film marketplace adapt to this new reality?
Experts discuss the ways in which international buyers and sellers can navigate within this new climate and explore solutions as to how film acquisitions can continue as part of the festival circuit.
Speakers: Sofia Neves, Head of Sales, West End Films; Paul Ridd, Acquisitions Manager, Picturehouse Entertainment; Léo Teste, Sales & Acquisitions, Film Constellation; Julian Richards, Jinga Films.
Hosted by Zoe Kandyla, British Film Institute
About the Host:
Zoe Kandyla is Festivals & Industry Events Coordinator at the British Film Institute, working across London Film Festival and Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival. She previously worked for the BFI Film Fund (Audiences Fund), distributors NBCUniversal and All3Media International, as well as women’s film organisation Birds Eye View.
About the Speakers:
Born in Lisbon, Sofia Neves graduated in 2001 from Universidade Nova de Lisboa with a major in Film. She did a Masters in European Audiovisual Management at the Media Business School (2004) and was a full participant in the Inside Pictures programme (2012). After a couple of years working in Portugal in production and distribution, Sofia moved to London in 2005 to work for Capitol Films where she became Sales Director and worked on Nick Cassavette’s Alpha Dog, Paul McGuigan’s Lucky Number Slevin, Robert Altman’s Prairie Home Companion and Sidney Lumet’s Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead, to name a few.
In 2008 she went to work at Hanway Films as Director of Sales and Distribution working on David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method, Sam Taylor-Wood’s Nowhere Boy, Nigel Cole’s Made in Dagenham, Lone Scherfig’s An Education,Steve McQueen’s Shame, among many others. Sofia then moved into film financing in 2011 where she worked for the Portuguese Film Fund FICA as Business Development Director and then for the BFI’s Film Fund in Production Finance. In 2016, she joined WestEnd Films as Head of Sales.
Léo Teste joined London-based sales and production company Film Constellation in August 2019 managing both Sales and Acquisitions, and working with established and emerging talents such as Werner Herzog, Natalie Erika James, Ewka Msangi and Annie Silverstein to name a few.
Before joining Film Constellation, Léo worked in sales at mk2 Films, handling a variety of box-office and critical hits such as “Cold War” by Pawel Pawlikowski, “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” by Céline Sciamma, and “Atlantics” by Mati Diop. Prior to that, Léo was Managing Director of the SEDPA (Syndicat des Entreprises de Distribution de Programmes Audiovisuels) where he represented the rights and interests of French audiovisual distributors.
Léo has a Bachelor and Master’s degree in Political Science & International Security from Sciences Po Paris, and a Master’s degree in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art (University of London).
Paul joined Picturehouse in 2011, acting first as a programmer for cinemas and then moving full time to acquisitions for the company’s distribution arm, Picturehouse Entertainment at the beginning of 2017 in his role as Acquisitions Manager. Paul also acts as a programme advisor to the BFI London Film Festival and is an international consultant for Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.
Julian is a graduate of The National Film School, Julian Richards wrote and directed three short films; Pirates (1987) (The Starting Out Award at The Celtic Film Festival), Queen Sacrifice (1988) (Best Film at the British Short Film Festival) and Bad Company (1992) (AFI Film Festival official selection). Their success led to employment at the BBC where Richards directed doc-drama A Mutter of Voices (1994) about genocide in Rwanda and Channel 4 Television where he directed twelve episodes of Liverpool soap Brookside (1982). In 1994 Richards was hired by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment to adapt the novel “Calling All Monsters” to screenplay. Two years later he returned to the UK to write and direct his debut feature Darklands (1996), a conspiracy horror about paganism and human sacrifice (Melies D’Argent for Best European Fantasy Film 1997). Richards second feature, conspiracy thriller Silent Cry (2002) was awarded The Gold Remi at Worldfest Houston and his third feature The Last Horror Movie (2003) won The Melies D’Argent for Best European Fantasy Film 2005 . Richards followed up with coming-of-age thriller Summer Scars (2007) which won two BAFTA Cymru Awards and Charles Dickens’s England (2009) starring Sir Derek Jacobi in a documentary about the life of iconic British author Charles Dickens. In 2011 Richards returned to the US to direct Shiver (2012), a psychological thriller starring Danielle Harris and John Jarratt for Image Entertainment. In 2017 Richards directed psychological horror Daddy’s Girl (2018) starring Costas Mandylor and Jemma Dallender which won Best Director at Fantasporto, and in 2018 he directed paranormal horror Reborn (2018) starring Barbara Crampton, Michael Pare and Chaz Bono which won 15 awards including Best Sci-Fi Feature at Another Hole In The Head. In 2019 Richards directed the Bad Santa segment in Christmas horror anthology Deathcember. He is also a founder of film sales company, Jinga Pictures.
This Panel discussion is part of the Raindance Film Festival Industry Programme: Independent Film Beyond 2020. To access all panels purchase the UK All Access or International All Access Pass from £14.99.