2019-06-19 07:59:29[UPDATES]

SIFF BUYERS MIX & MEETING | Compared to Struggle to Bet on the Hot Cake and Fight Against Piracy, It

When a low-budget Lebanese film CAPERNAUM grossed more than 370 million yuan in China, whether seasoned professional buyers in the international film market, or people in China have been catching up with the Hollywood standard were suddenly woke up. In the face of box office, business and art are not impossible to achieve balance, and more and more Chinese audiences are willing to go to the cinema to vote with their "feet" to support their favorite films.


At Shanghai International Film Festival, "SIFF MARKET BUYERS MIX & MEETING" in June 18, Eva Dedricks, sales director of Wild Bunch, a world famous film distribution company, Cai Gongming, the president of Road Pictures, Li Yihua, the general manager of Beijing Chuangwai Nianhua Film and Television Culture Communication Co., Ltd ., Wang Xiaonan, the film selector of Nationwide Alliance of Arthouse Cinemas, Ma Leimeng, the general manager of Fortissimo Films, a global film distribution company and so on shared their cases, pointed out the common problems of the present international film market.
 

Shanghai International Film Festival "SIFF MARKET BUYERS MIX & MEETING" scene

There Is No Perfect Formula for Business and Art

As the world famous film distribution company's sales director, Eva Dedricks is an old friend of many international buyers and sellers, and every time the friends let her make a choice between business and art, she always reluctantly said "I'm afraid it's a difficult matter", "I also wanted to find the perfect formula that would reflect our artistic vision of film selection, as well as ensure that the company has a reliable income, which is really hard to balance." However, Eva also revealed her selection principles, "Directors of high quality American commercial films, their work is still the primary target, followed by talented art - house directors, and we will make a cautious choice between them."
 

Eva Dedricks, sales director of Wild Bunch, a world famous film distribution company 

Cai Gongming also has a deep understanding of this, "People who make art films have strong feelings. Sometimes they can't help feeling that they will buy a good film immediately." Li Yihua examined herself and said: "All my failures were because I was emotional and made a wrong decision when I got excited." This difficult problem is much easier for Wang Xiaonan, the film selector of Nationwide Alliance of Arthouse Cinemas, she said: "Our franchise units are commercial cinemas, the bottom line is not losing money." She revealed that the selection style of Nationwide Alliance of Arthouse Cinemas will be more inclined to a cross-border film with a certain artistic level and excellent technology, and it is complementary to the films released in cinemas. In this way, the audience can be cultivated and the box office revenue can be as stable as possible.

Ma Leimeng thought that this is an unsolvable problem, he said: "I've asked many successful bosses how they choose their films, and the answer is that they fail as often as they succeed. It's not that they don't understand the rules, it's that the market keeps changing."
 

Ma Leimeng, general manager of Fortissimo Films, a world famous film distribution company 

Intensive Cultivation Is Better Than Betting on the Hot Cake

Cai Gongming, who just returned from the Cannes market, said that after CAPERNAUM, Chinese high rollers, who had been quiet for the past two years, began to come alive again. Everyone wants to find the next popular film like CAPERNAUM, which is hard to avoid speculative problems. "I don't think this betting mentality is right. As a buyer, you still have to have the patience to immerse yourself, lower your expectations and dig up some really suitable films."

Cai Gongming, the president of Road Pictures

Cai Gongming pointed out that many film sides in Europe are not rational enough to sell as soon as Chinese buyers pay a lot of money, but these films are often bought back and directly into the stock, with no chance of meeting the audience. He said, "This is the most destructive place for the industry."
 
Li Yihua thought that it is important to build trust with foreign sales corporations and Domestic issuing companies. She said, "There will always be wealthy buyers, but experienced sales firms will not choose the highest bidder, but the most trustworthy." Cai Gongming added that the overall market order has been slowly improving in recent years, with buyers who had bet big on the market dropping out after learning the hard way. He said. "People are beginning to realize that only intensive farming can pay off."

Li Yihua, general manager of Beijing Chuangwai Nianhua Film and Television Culture Communication Co., Ltd.

Anti-piracy Operation and Initiative Marketing

Piracy has always been a major concern for buyers of imported films, which Li Yihua deeply felt. She said, "Art-house audiences have a strong ability to actively search, and once films are released on DVD overseas, there will be pirated resources in China, which is fatal to its audiences." She revealed that several previous films had been affected by piracy to some extent. She said, "The core audience has seen it on the Internet. Although we can make people go to the cinema with feelings, we failed at the first step of circle expansion marketing."

But Cai Gongming thought that piracy is more like a double-edged sword, sometimes giving a boost to marketing. He said, "For example, CAPERNAUM doesn't have the foundation of cast, and its reputation needs to be developed. If there were no piracy and not so many ratings on Douban, the film wouldn't have generated so much anticipation before its release." "With my practical experience, it is more effective to crack down on piracy two or three months before the film is released," he said at the scene.

In response, Wang Xiaonan also said that the marketing link is a key breakthrough, she said, "We didn't have a lot of pressure in the buying process, but when we finished buying, it was a lot of pressure." She said it may be relatively easy for audiences to get over the cost of time, money and so on and go to the cinema to watch an art-house film in the first-tier cities like Shanghai and Beijing, but it is still very difficult in second and third-tier cities, which may be an urgent problem for the whole industry.

Wang Xiaonan, the film selector of Nationwide Alliance of Arthouse Cinemas
 

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