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Vanessa McMahon

Vanessa is a novel writer, screenwriter, rep and a film producer. She shares her discoveries and film surprises. :-)



Interview with Sales Agent Yannick Rudynski (EastWest-Filmdistribution) @ 2016 Berlinale


In recent years there has been a lot of talk about change of pace in the film marketplace with many sales agents and distributors complaining of heavy losses and a dim outlook on future business. The word that many agents used to describe this year's EFM was, “slow”. But when I asked Austrian sales agent Yannick Rudynski of East-West Distribution how his market had gone, he had a big smile on his face and said, “Fantastic!” Curious to know why many agents are experiencing a slow market and others fantastic, I spoke to Yannick about his successful 2016 EFM.


ME: Can you introduce your company East West?

YANNICK: EastWest-Film Distribution is an international sales company based in Vienna focusing on high quality European movies. It will turn 12 years old in November. We are 5 people + 1 chairman working there.

ME: What kind of films do you sell at the international markets?

YANNICK: We sell mainly Thrillers, Family films and recently a zombie film. But we also have some drama which are a bit harder to sell. Next year we will sell a music documentary from Brigitte Berman (she won an Oscars in 1986) and I have the feeling that it will be a big hit !

ME: Was this a good market for you? And why?

YANNICK: A good market is first a market where we sell our films. That´s our priority. But it can also be a good market because we find some good projects or good movies to acquire. Meeting interesting people is also something important for us

ME: How have you seen the markets change over recent years?

YANNICK: Based on my last 4 years I would say that the theatrical releasing of a film is becoming more and more challenging, so we try to go more directly to the TV channels; but, depending of the countries it´s complicated. The DVD is declining and the VOD is not confirming, but we all hope that it carries. I´m optimistic and think that the audience and the viewers will get used very soon to watch movies with the VOD.

ME: Do you think the changes are for the better or worse?

YANNICK: This industry has always seen every new change as a catastrophe. When the TV arrived they all said that it´s the death of the cinema, when the VHS arrived they all said that it´s the death of the TV and Cinema, same with the DVD. Now that we have the VOD everyone think that the industry will die. I don´t think that the industry will die. We will always need theaters, broadcasters and DVD. I just believe that the incomes will be just more divided, not coming from 3 sources, but from 4, 5, 6… but at the end the producer will recoup his money.

ME: How do you stay afloat as an indie sales company when so many are closing down?

YANNICK: We try to find the movies that the audience wants to watch. We are also trying hard to put the film that we represent in theaters to make the film more known. We are also not focusing on one genre but one 3, 4. This way we don´t depend of one trend.

ME: What kind of films will you be looking to acquire in 2016?

YANNICK: We will look for some good thrillers and family movies.

ME: For you what is/are the most important film markets?

YANNICK: Personally I really like the MipTV and Mipcom but I have to say that Cannes F.M. (in May) is always nice. I like to see all the energy and the atmosphere around it. It´s a mix of business and glamour and it brings a lot of dreams and fantasy for the people who are not in this industry.

ME: What was your best sale of 2015?

YANNICK: “The Island of Secrets”. A family/adventure movie from Finland and Greece shot in Kos. The picture is really nice and the story is good. I´m looking for some investors to do an American remake in the Caribbean sea or in Hawaii.

ME: Anything else you want to say?

YANNICK: I see many people during the markets complaining that the market is dead, the market is bad, Hollywood kills everything, etc. I just want to tell them that there is no fatality, it´s just a matter of adaption and work. I keep being positive!


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