New sales house Other Angle Pictures has been enjoying a bright run since its debut at the EFM in February.

With its first film, La Premiere Etoile, having sold over 1 million tickets in its first three weeks of French release, the company is setting its sights on a strong Cannes market with a full slate and a film in the Fortnight.

For its Cannes debut, Other Angle has taken on sales for Directors’ Fortnight title Riad Sattouf’s Les Beaux Gosses. Produced by Anne-Dominique Toussaint with Pathe and Studio 37, the film is a coming-of-age tale about an adolescent boy and his efforts to fit in amongst a varied cast of characters. Also on the boil is Bus Palladium, the first film to be directed by screenwriter/actor Christopher Thompson.

Other Angle’s slate also includes:

  • Didier Bourdon’s Bambou with Anne Consigny, Pierre Arditi and Eddy Mitchell; Diane Bertrand’s Baby Blues starring Karin Viard and Stefano Accorsi.
  • Diane Bertrand’s Baby Blues starring Karin Viard and Stefano Accors
  • The One I Love, by Elie Chouraqui and Seven Days by Ronit and Shlomi Elkabetz (on which Other Angle is sharing sales duties with Latido)

Other Angle was founded by Olivier Albou and his wife Laurence Schonberg in January 2009. Albou has spent more than ten years in the business with a stint at French broadcaster M6 and five years in sales at UGC International. He recently worked in international distribution at Warner Bros. in Burbank. “From all of my experience in international sales and acquisitions, I wanted to take everything I had learned in these big companies and create an indie,” he says.

From the outset, both Albou and Schonberg fell in love with La Premiere Etoile, a comedy that Mars Distribution would distribute in France. The film thus became the company’s first pick up for international sales. “We really believed in the script,” Albou recalls. “This is the film that made us want to start.” In eight weeks of release it’s sold 1.5 million tickets making it a bona fide local hit.

Albou explains the strategy is to take French films they believe will have strong local impact. He notes that Other Angle is keen to look more towards the mainstream in its choices. “Our films won’t be very art house because there’s already a lot of them out there and so it wouldn’t be the most competitive area.”

Eventually, the company will take on bigger budgeted films that hail from international sources. “Our initial solution is to work with producers we know we have rapid access to. We’ll work with about ten films a year; we don’t want to do more because there’s only two of us and we don’t want to have high overhead. We want to be able to take good care of our films.”

Another aspect of Other Angle’s ambitions lies in foreign acquisitions. “We have different partners who will follow us on investments,” Albou says adding that the company has thus far completed four such deals whereby a film is co-acquired by Other Angle and another entity for French distribution only. “We like the idea of being a buyer as well because when one business is on a downturn, the other will compensate.” The company has no plans to move into pure distribution, however. “Absolutely not, it’s not my métier to know where to put the films and how to negotiate with the theaters. But, it is my métier to negotiate contracts with rights holders.”

Eventually, co-productions and developing remakes will also come into play but for the moment, Other Angle is looking to build cautiously, Albou says. “We are in this for the long term.”