Francesca Breccia • Exporter
"Let me explain our revolutionary business sales model"
- We met up with Francesca Breccia, founder of Coccinelle Film Sales, which promotes independent films and documentaries sold in alternative ways, i.e. "by the producer"
Specialised in the sale of independent documentaries and films, Coccinelle Film Sales has launched a new international distribution concept that responds to producers' requests for greater financial control and lower risks. It was using this model that Cesare Furesi's debut feature, Chi salverà le rose? [+see also:
film profile] was recently sold in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg and North America, and I Am A Teacher by Sergei Mokritsky was sold in China, Denmark and North America. We talked to founder Francesca Breccia about the concept.
Cineuropa: What does Coccinelle Film Sales do?
Francesca Breccia: Coccinelle is not a company in the traditional sense of the word, it’s more of an international network made up of independent professionals, specialised in international sales and film scouting, coordinated by myself and all operating under the same brand. There’s also room for the network to expand further.
You have adopted a new business model. What’s the benefit for the producer?
Vendors usually operate by paying promotional expenses in advance. These expenses (flyers, posters, attendance at markets, advertising, etc.) are agreed with the producer and then taken on, in addition to the sales commission, once the film is sold. The model that we have developed allows the producer to have financial control over the results instead. Once a sales contract is terminated, it’s the producer who invoices the client for the entire sum, which has been negotiated by us. Afterwards, we charge the producer for the commission on the item, without charging any additional costs. This isn’t to say that we don’t invest. We set aside a budget, completely at our expense, to support the promotion of films. A budget that we manage to limit and which doesn’t negatively affect the producer or cause us to run at a loss, while simultaneously making the most of "smart working," which is possible thanks to the international dimension and flexibility of our network. We also don’t tie producers to us for years, we offer 12-month contracts with the possibility of renewal. We want to work with satisfied producers and leave them free to evaluate their options if they’re not happy with our work.
During your years of operation have you followed the trend of the European film market?
The market and festivals don’t 'talk' to each other. It’s rare for festival audiences to also be the same people going to the cinema on a Sunday or sitting in front of the TV in the evening. As a result, we hardly ever find that independent films scheduled at festivals are released in cinemas (unless they have won major awards). In reality, the cinema industry is a business, and the producer, distributor and seller want a return on their investments. I believe that in order to survive, independent cinema needs to learn how to speak a universal language and to capture an audience, which is now dispersed in the black hole that is the internet.
If anything it’s a process of educating the audience. On the other hand, I believe that in the industry we have a duty to take on some slightly more difficult projects. If we become more mainstream ourselves, directors subsequently become more mainstream themselves, and that’s when ideas die.
(Translated from Italian)
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