As it heads to the European Film Market in Berlin, Franco-Spanish sales company Coach 14 is also celebrating its first birthday.
Founded by former Funny Balloons partner Pape Boye and Jaume Domenech, the company has offices in Paris and Barcelona, with backing from Spanish production outfit Iris Star, which was founded by Domenech and his father. Domenech also runs Iris Star's Spanish distributor Stardis Pictures.
The partners have worked with 11 international titles this year - up from a planned five to seven - and enjoyed sales success with the likes of Jeff Nichols' Shotgun Stories and Gonzalez Lopez-Gallego's El Rey De La Montana. It recently picked up Isidro Ortiz's Shiver, which is screening in the Panorama section at Berlin.
"On an end-to-end basis, our entire first-year line-up will be profitable," says Boye. "We had the opportunity to work with some big sharks."
Those names include The Weinstein Company (El Rey), Germany's Telepool (Guillermo Groizard's Proyecto Dos and Miguel Garcia Borda's Lazos Rotos) and the UK's Optimum Releasing (El Rey).
This year, Coach 14 is planning to consolidate its relationship with film-makers such as Groizard, Gallego, Nichols and Bruno Merle (Coach 14 handled Merle's Heroes, which opened Critics' Week in Cannes last year).
The pair also plan to create strategic partnerships with distributors - possibly in France and Spain and possibly with Stardis - to foster co-acquisitions. While Boye says Coach 14 is not looking to open its own distribution arm, he does believe "sharing risk makes sense".
The duo believe that although the international sales field is crowded, there is room enough for everyone. "The market says, be fast and be efficient," says Boye. "We're not complaining about the competition; it makes us better and stronger."
Coach 14, which takes its name from the number of the bar coach on France's TGV trains, considers itself a "young, cool, casual" enterprise. Domenech says: "You have to make money but you have to have fun. We would love to hear distributors say they perceive us that way."