I Wonder Pictures
Who to know: Andrea Romeo, CEO
Upcoming slate: Tchaikovsky’s Wife, My Imaginary Country, Girl Picture, Everything Everywhere All At Once
Contact: coordinamento. email@example.com
What kinds of films are you looking to buy?
Our target has always been an enlarged vision on adult comedy and the ‘wow’ movies, as we call them. These are movies that break out from the usual routine with strong concepts like Nicolas Bedos’ La Belle Époque and Jaco Van Dormael’s The Brand New Testament. We are aiming more and more towards the unexpected, even on a younger target with films like Sanctuary.
What do you think of this year’s Marché?
I think we have an interesting, forward-looking market in a backward-looking edition for the festival.
What are you fed up with?
“I want novelties, new voices, like Julia Ducournau or Alli Haapasalo. These are all event films that show new universes, not the classic Dardenne or Desplechin, who I love but from whom I don’t feel any urgency. I want films that can speak to a very specific and attentive audience, interested in gender issues, technology and social innovation, and that can do this with a fresh and seductive language.
Which of your past deals do you most cherish?
Titane. We had already bought 15 films at that festival, and the last thing I wanted was another one. Wild Bunch invited me to see it at the premiere. I was looking forward to it but didn’t expect it to have such an impact on me, because I don’t like horrors. I felt it was a Palme d’Or film. The deal was closed the morning after, even if I knew it would be impossible to distribute without a Palme d’Or. It was a huge risk.
Who to know: Alessandro Giacobbe, managing director; Eddie Bertozzi, marketing and acquisitions
Upcoming slate: Holy Spider, Fire Of Love, Peter Von Kant
What kinds of films are you looking for?
Bertozzi: We want to reinforce our strategy of high-quality arthouse films that speak to the largest possible audience and hopefully generate a new one. We think the post-pandemic audience is not the same we used to know, hence the need to work on a new one.
What are your fondest Cannes memories?
The Cannes of my life was the one in which I closed the deal for Parasite a few days before the premiere. Nobody had the slightest idea of what would happen and we lived the days after the deal enjoying the rising hype and excitement that culminated with the Palme d’Or.
Which titles did you buy ahead of arriving on the Croisette?
A couple of acquisitions, namely Holy Spider and the Sundance documentary about French volcanologists Fire Of Love. We will launch the latter through a number of summer previews to build some buzz and then a general release in early fall. It can be the movie of the year. During the market itself, I think we [will stick to] our usual two to three acquisitions.
What do you appreciate in a sales meeting?
I am a big cinephile and I remember what every filmmaker has done, so I can appreciate a large conversation, not limited to business talk. Be aware that although I love and know the auteurs, I’m not necessarily interested in buying films from all of them.
Who to know: Stefano Jacono, CEO and founder
Upcoming slate: Memory Box, Another World, Brother And Sister,The Blue Caftan
What are you in town to buy?
It’s the first market we are attending physically since EFM 2020. Apart from buying broadcasting rights for films, we also have an eye on theatrical distribution. If we look for large-appeal titles when dealing with broadcasters, we can be very attentive and selective for theatres.
What do you rely on for scoring the right deals?
We work on relationships. I always try to work with directors I’ve worked with before. We often buy based on the screenplay. It happened with Arnaud Desplechin’s Brother And Sister and with Louis Garrel’s The Innocent. We’ve just bought Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s The Beasts, our fourth collaboration with him.
What is the strangest thing that’s happened to you at the Marché?
It was 2009 or 2010. I was wandering through the stands waiting for a scheduled meeting, and when I got there I saw a poster for Nicolas Winding Refn’s Bronson. It was a movie that had been considered lost — as [sometimes] happens, the sales agent who was handling the title had disappeared after the presentation of the film at EFM more than a year before. He was nowhere to be found and the same for his company… just gone. Now here I am, talking to a different sales agent in a different booth and here’s the film I had looked for so hard. They told me: “We have this one just arrived from another library…”
Who to know: Guglielmo Marchetti, CEO and chairman; Claudio Rapino, head of acquisitions and sales
Upcoming slate: C’mon C’mon, Porcelain, The Unbreakable Boy|
How many films are you looking to buy?
We generally follow five to seven films and end up buying about four. Roughly 95% of these acquisitions are packages, bought on the strength of the screenplay, and are big US films with big names. The remaining 5% are finished films, usually these are the small ones that can have an Oscar campaign behind them or similar. Now we’re working on titles to be released at the end of 2023 or in 2024.
How does Cannes normally go for you?
If I do my job diligently, all of my deals are closed the Monday before the market starts and then I can enjoy the market, have meetings and look at films. Beforehand, we had 47 screenplays to read.
Have you ever closed a big deal in advance?
Always. I remember being on holiday in Barcelona before heading to Cannes and dealing on the phone for the After franchise. Nobody knew about the novels and I remember a low level of confidence [around] that title, but the box office then proved us right.
Has the rise of the streaming platforms changed the way you do markets?
A lot. Now the main thing I look for is transparency. Platforms are aggressive and strike world deals, so I really need to know from the sales agent if a certain project I’ve got my eyes on has a platform’s interest. There are movies I closed the deal for in 2019 for which we still don’t know if we’ve got the rights or a platform has it.