Natasa Bucar • Distributor
European Distributors: Up Next! - Slovenia
by Vladan Petkovic
Cultural and congress centre Cankarjev Dom is a public institution that organizes a wide scale of events promoting film, including the largest international film festival in Slovenia, the Ljubljana International Film Festival. The company’s Film Projects Manager Natasa Bucar will be among the ten Eastern and Central European participants at the upcoming European Distributors: Up Next! forum at the San Sebastian Film Festival, whose aim is to increase the wider distribution of non-domestic European films.
Cineuropa: How does Cankarjev Dom function as a distributor?
Natasa Bucar: We have been dealing with art film distribution for the last 15 years. We distribute five to six titles every year to fill the gap in theatrical distribution of European high-profile films in Slovenia. We choose our films very carefully and we give priority to established and not always well-known European but also other international filmmakers.
Our last distributed titles were Neil Jordan’s Breakfast on Pluto [+see also:
film profile], Tony Gatlif’s Transylvania [+see also:
film profile], Bent Hamer’s Factotum [+see also:
film profile], Dagur Kari’s Dark Horse [+see also:
film profile], Corneliu Porumboiu’s 12:08 East of Bucharest [+see also:
interview: Corneliu Porumboiu
interview: Daniel Burlac
film profile], Roy Andersson’s You, the Living [+see also:
interview: Pernilla Sandström
interview: Roy Andersson
film profile], Pascale Ferran’s Lady Chatterley [+see also:
film profile], Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis [+see also:
interview: Marc-Antoine Robert
interview: Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Pa…
film profile] and Shane Meadows’ This Is England [+see also:
What do you think about the lack of circulation of European films in Slovenia, and how could this situation be improved?
Besides Cankarjev Dom, there are only four arthouse cinemas in Slovenia so we need more. We also need arthouse cinema networks that will enable better promotion for our films. And we need audiences. In Slovenia, like everywhere in Europe, the number of cinema viewers has fallen drastically. Audiences focus on fewer films, the top 20 films take up to almost 50% of the market in Slovenia.
Our interest is to distribute films in as many theatres as possible. The ideal distribution plan is that the film open in our cinema and after two weeks starts to play in another cinema in the capital and then travels around the country. Our major partner was Kinodvor cinema in Ljubljana until it was closed in April this year. Fortunately, the City of Ljubljana has helped to re-open it in October, with an experienced and enthusiastic team behind the wheel, led by the acting director Nina Pece.
Who supports theatrical distribution in Slovenia?
The Slovenian Ministry of Culture and MEDIA Programme in Brussels. Support from both is valuable and they allow art films to not be entirely dependent on the market. In terms of supporting cinemas in Europe I believe that Europa Cinemas network is indispensable. This should be the crucial issue – to make space for quality European films.
What do you expect from the San Sebastian forum?
Exchange of information and experience between distributors from the region is very valuable. The forum in San Sebastian can give such an opportunity. Distributors should cooperate and perhaps we should talk about some kind of closer cooperation, perhaps global promotion and simultaneous releases of the films in Europe. I am also very curious about how my colleagues work with media, how they meet new challenges and also how they strengthen their network in the business to help their sales.
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