“We’re dealing with fewer and fewer movies, and we comply with extra of a ‘boutique-like’ strategy”
– We sat down with the Dutch outfit’s common supervisor to debate its editorial methods and its line-up, amongst different subjects
Cineuropa met up with Gabrielle Rozing, common supervisor at Amsterdam-based gross sales agent Fortissimo Movies. Rozing spoke about numerous elements of the agency’s work and the way it has modified owing to the pandemic and to some inside enterprise adjustments.
Cineuropa: May you please introduce Fortissimo Movies’ editorial coverage for us? How is the corporate staffed?
Gabrielle Rozing: Ten years in the past, Fortissimo Movies was a really large firm with 30 individuals on the employees. These days, there are 4 staff. It’s been the 4 of us over the past 4 or 5 years. It’s a lot smaller than it was, and this clearly influences the alternatives you make and the kind of movies you deal with… We’ve acquired companions in China, and we work quite a bit with Asian cinema. One way or the other, we’ve acquired again to the origins, or what the corporate was 30 years in the past, once we started working with Hong Kongese and Chinese language cinemas. Now we’re working inside that space, with loads of Chinese language and Japanese titles, however we additionally choose different movies that talk to us and that we expect are good. We comply with Marie Kondō’s motto: she’s an American-Japanese author, and he or she’s excellent at organising issues. She says: “While you choose one thing up and it sparks pleasure, you then preserve it, and if it doesn’t, simply throw it away.” So we ask ourselves: “Does it spark pleasure?” It doesn’t essentially should be a contented or a “gentle” movie, however it wants to inform us one thing.
What number of titles do you rep every year?
Previously, we might have dealt with as much as ten titles, however over the past 5 years, that quantity has shrunk to 5 or 6. This yr, we’ll be repping three titles. So we’re dealing with fewer and fewer movies, and we comply with extra of a “boutique-like” strategy. We see that it takes way more time to current a movie, to promote it correctly, and since there are fewer individuals on the workforce, we deal with fewer films. And, after all, you must ensure you choose up the appropriate ones.
What are a number of the newest titles you have acquired?
Our newest acquisition was Natalia Sinelnikova’s We Would possibly as Properly Be Lifeless [+see also:
interview: Natalia Sinelnikova
film profile]. It’s one of many German movies submitted as an Oscars contender. It was screened within the Perspektive Deutsches Kino part of the Berlinale, and after that, it performed at Tribeca. Different latest titles embody the animated movie by Masaaki Yuasa Inu-Oh, Shinzo Katayama’s Lacking, in addition to some Chinese language movies, akin to Ann Hui’s Love After Love and Cao Jinling’s Anima. We additionally dealt with some Chinese language fantasy movies which went straight to Netflix – specifically, The Yin-Yang Grasp: Dream of Eternity and Tremendous Me.
What concerning the measurement of your catalogue?
Our catalogue contains about 80 titles from all around the globe. Amongst them, we nonetheless have Alex van Warmerdam’s first 9 movies, just a few documentary options and another Asian titles, akin to Tokyo Sonata and Norwegian Wooden.
May you elaborate on why you’re veering in the direction of a extra “boutique-like” strategy?
This course of began once we modified possession six years in the past. Wouter [Barendrecht] died in 2008, after which Michael [J Werner] took over. In 2016, we have been purchased by a Chinese language firm. Even earlier than that, many staffing adjustments have been already afoot. There have been 5 of us on the time. The local weather for gross sales brokers has been altering quite a bit over the past 15 years, and the final two COVID years actually didn’t assist to maintain this enterprise. For those who’re one of many very large gross sales companies – the likes of HanWay or Wild Bunch, for instance – issues could also be totally different, however there are lots of companies which can be a lot smaller on the market. It’s changing into frequent observe to choose fewer movies to be able to put extra effort into them. In addition to, I feel the pandemic has had a huge effect, and particularly for younger, first-time filmmakers, it has been devastating. […] For the gross sales brokers, I feel this era is possibly even a bit worse than it was one or two years in the past, when it had simply began and everybody hoped it could finish quickly. However now, issues are harder and extra unstable. At Cannes, everybody was optimistic, however the viewers will not be coming again to cinemas but. I hope this may change in September or October in order that consumers can acquire extra confidence.
Do you occur to spend money on the manufacturing of movies or assist fund them?
Not often. Proper now, it’s not an excellent market to spend money on or take dangers over. We do assist filmmakers discover funding and direct them in the direction of the appropriate sources. We comply with loads of tasks from the script or therapy part; we learn them and provides suggestions, and many individuals seek the advice of us for casting selections or different elements. We don’t produce or make investments, although, as we don’t have the capability to do this for the time being. We concentrate on gross sales, however we even have a expertise company in China. We assist Western editors, composers and cinematographers who need to work in China, and we join them with Chinese language producers.