Simona Calcagni • Distributor, Bolero Film
by Gabriele Barcaro
Founded in late 2007, today Bolero Film is one of the youngest distribution companies operating in Italy, and one of the most attentive to Italian and European independent cinema.
What did becoming head of acquisitions and marketing in Bolero Film mean for you?
Although it’s a relatively new distributor, Bolero Film immediately made its presence felt on the market with films that won great public and critical acclaim, such as The Visitor and Let the Right One In [+see also:
film profile]. Thus, becoming part of a company that is very competitive on the market, headed by two people with years of experience like Mario Fiorito (see interview) and Leandro Pesci, was a huge challenge for me and allowed for, among other things, a concentration of energies on successful Italian films as well, including Ten Winters [+see also:
How is independent distribution doing in Italy today?
Independent distribution is going through a difficult period characterized by a strong presence of US blockbusters, which is also due to the proliferation of multiplexes at the expense of urban cinemas. This marks a radical change in consumption from cinemagoers, who simply try to fill their free time and whose choice of which movie to see is therefore not very well-informed.
What have been Bolero’s biggest hits? And what will the future bring?
The biggest hits have been The Visitor and Let the Right One In, although critics also really liked the Chilean filmThe Maid. Recent acquisitions include Emmanuelle Bercot’s Student Services, Bent Hamer’s Home for Christmas [+see also:
film profile], Benedek Fliegauf’s Womb [+see also:
film profile] (in competition at Locarno) and Eitan Zur’s Naomi, recently seen in the International Critics’ Week at Venice.
What marketing strategies do you use to launch your films?
First of all, we set the release date, analyzing other films’ releases, and the strategic positioning on the market. Then we identify the film’s target audience, define our goals and develop an adequate media strategy – deciding how to use the various media to meet the different needs of different target groups, and the frequency, visibility and integration of these media.
In terms of marketing, the non-conventional aspect is extremely important, especially on the Web and social networks (Wikipedia, Myspace, Facebook), which reflect the communication codes of new viewers, trendsetters who draw in a very broad target. Communication on websites is no longer static, linear; it’s dynamic, there’s interaction, collaboration and participation among all the users.
At the same time, it’s important to identify strategic partners and/or institutions – such as the Istituto Cervantes, which worked with us on promoting Cell 211 [+see also:
What is your opinion of the impact of 3D and new technologies on the market?
After an initial period in which it seemed as if 3D would dominate the film market for the next few years, today the excitement is decreasing, which is also due to higher ticket costs for 3D screenings.
Considering that by 2010 in Italy we could see the digitalization of 800 screens, the digital "revolution", on the other hand, is very important, both in terms of opportunities and savings, and because of that the US solution has been adopted, of the Virtual Print Fee.
What do you think of Europa Cinemas and Europa Distribution, and what do you expect from European Distributors Up Next?
They’re very important in favouring cultural diversity in film in Europe, sharing expertise with European professionals, and collaborating globally to optimize trans-national distribution of European cinema. With regards to European Distributors Up Next, we expect to create a network of European distributors with whom to share information and experiences in the distribution of European films.