EXCLUSIVE: Sales companies to get marketing and distribution support thanks to €800k backing.

A number of European sales companies are to get support towards digital distribution of films in their catalogues thanks to two €400k grants from the European Commission.

Gaumont, Pathé, Autlook, Films Boutique, Films Distribution, Fortissimo, Memento, Reel Suspect and The Yellow Affair will be beneficiaries of €400k-scheme Walk This Way, which is spearheaded by digital aggregator Under The Milky Way, sales network Europa International and marketing company The Film Agency.

The sales companies will get technical and marketing support from the agencies for more than 30 films, including Michel Gondy’s Is the Man Who is Tall Happy, The Monk, La Belle et la Bête, Silent Sonata, Sophia’s Last Ambulance and La Cagé Dorée.

The award was granted through Creative Europe’s online distribution (VoD) scheme.

Jérôme Chung, co-founder of digital distributor and aggregator Under The Milky Way, told Screen: “It’s evident that the whole digital distribution window has become a major challenge for the European industry. Thanks to this support, we will be able to work concretely in its evolution. Our main objective is to put in place a simple and consistent scheme to prepare European films to be noticed and perform in the VOD market. We will enhance the exposure of films by adding value throughout the digital supply chain from the sourcing to the final-user marketing.”

Under The Milky Way, The Festival Agency, research company IPEDA and The Film Agency have also received €425k from the EC for the third edition of day-and-date scheme The TIDE Experiment.

The programme, whose second edition backed 23 releases, supports day-and-date releases on multiple platforms in different EU territories.

Premium Films, Fandango and Autlook Film Sales are among new beneficiaries of the scheme.

Results of the Tide scheme are due to be collected, shared and become the object of a study conducted by Ipeda.

“The experience of the past marketing campaigns should bring maturity and top-level performance tools to this new challenge,” said Sarah Calderón, CEO of The Film Agency and marketing planner of TIDE.   

“I feel extremely happy to join such a creative team”, said Leslie Vuchot, CEO of The Festival Agency, which has newly joined the initiative. “At our company we receive more and more great festival films that are challenging to distribute through traditional channels. Tide 3 is the opportunity to experience different and simultaneous releases which could be an answer to many films’ careers.”