Sales agents urged Indian producers to pay more attention to the materials they require to handle a film’s international distribution at a Film Bazaar seminar on The Role Of A Sales Agent.
“You need a good poster, a good trailer and you need to be thinking about international versions and rights clearance,” said Luc Ntonga, general director of Paris-based sales agent Insomnia World Sales.
Talking about his last film, Road, Movie, Indian filmmaker Dev Benegal said: “The list of deliverables we received from our sales agent [Fortissimo Films] was quite daunting. It was a good job we weren’t doing post-production in India because local studios can’t deal with those requests.”
However, the speakers agreed that deliverables are worth the extra effort because a sales agent can protect producers in international markets and ensure they get the best deals. “You could deal directly with distributors, but they have to go back to the same sales agent year after year. So the chances of getting your money back are better,” said Bero Beyer, producer and consultant for the Netherlands Film Fund.
Bill Straus, founder of New York-based BGP Films, said that only 25 out of 70-80 distributors in the US take on foreign-language films so it helps to have your film screen at a prestigious festival to attract their attention.