Vicente Canales • Film Factory
by Sergio Ríos Pérez
03/02/2011 - In December, Spain’s film sales sector welcomed a new company, Film Factory. Managing director Vicente Canales is, however, no newcomer to this business as he was head of sales at Filmax International for six years. After completing its first four titles (including Daniel Sánchez Arévalo’s third feature, Primos), there has been frantic activity at Film Factory’s Barcelona office to prepare for the company’s launch at the forthcoming edition of the Berlinale’s European Film Market (EFM), which will run from February 10-18.
Sánchez Arévalo’s comedy fits into one of Film Factory’s two branches, of “established directors well-known to foreign clients”, explained Canales, adding “there are a string of distributors following his career, who bought his previous two films [DarkBlueAlmostBlack [trailer] (2006) and Fat People [trailer, film focus] (2009)] and I hope they also buy Primos. Daniel has an original and unique vision and always brings something new”.
The other branch is genre cinema. However, according to Canales, this means “not only horror films, but in the broad sense of highly original films, young directors and ground-breaking and innovative subject matter”. This is precisely the field in which Canales has the most experience, for during his time at Filmax he handled films like the [Rec] saga, Sleep Tight, For the Good of Others [trailer] and Verbo.
Besides the four productions Film Factory will announce at the EFM, there will be another three or four at Cannes and as many again at Toronto and the American Film Market, amounting to the 10-12 films per year Canales plans to concentrate on. “I don’t want to handle lots of productions, and I want to be selective”, he says, because the most important thing is “working with Spain’s best producers, professionals who have projects with an international outlook”.
The international potential of their titles is key. This aspect “has grown in recent years in Spain thanks to a highly talented new generation of directors and the international vision of new producers”, said Canales. Several production companies (including Morena Films, Mod Producciones, Rodar y Rodar, Vaca Films, Apaches Entertainment) systematically look for this international approach before mounting a project and Film Factory wants to help those companies to “strengthen this internationalisation, forging closer links with producers and talent”.
Pre-sales, a strategy barely exploited in Spain, is another working practice Canales intends to use, although this entails a distinctly hands-on approach, because “when it comes to positioning a film on the foreign market, it’s very important to get involved in projects at as early a stage as possible, provided that there is a script, a cast, a date, financing – in other words, guarantees. It’s the only way to make it work well”.