News / The Network


The Network - 23/05/2007


Jean-Thomas Bernardini, Director, Imovision (Brazil)


The support programme for European films in non-MEDIA countries has met with huge success. It has allowed numerous films to be screened in countries that have recognised film-going audiences but markets that are seen as hard to crack. Successes were had in South America, but also in Asia.
European Film Promotion, let us recall, accompanies the presentation of European films in the principal festivals in Latin America and Asia. In a second step, Europa Cinemas supports the release of European films in cinemas 12 months after their official projection. After Mar del Plata and Guadalajara at the beginning of the year, partner festivals are Shanghai, Toronto, Rio de Janeiro and Pusan.

Interview with Jean-Thomas Bernardini, Director, Imovision (Brazil),
supported for the distribution of Sophie Scholl, The Child, Marock, .

How do European films that receive support find their place on the Brasilian market?

Thanks to the support of the programme, the films benefit from more aggressive P&A, which aids communication with theatres, especially multiplexes. Most of the schedulers who work for these complexes, who are unfamiliar with the culture of contemporary European cinema and have very little information about these films, base their decisions almost entirely on the release plan presented by distributors.

Do arthouse cinemas manage to find a public?

I think Brazil is in a privileged position. It has a good number of arthouse cinemas and can boast a public with an interest in cinema that is well informed and has a passion for quality films. Naturally, this audience is limited in number, and without an ongoing effort on the part of distributors and cinemas could decline rapidly. Several arthouse cinemas have been modernised and have managed to find a public, but we need modern cinemas to open and target this market. Two years ago, for example, we opened the Reserva Cultural cinema (4 screens), on the main avenue in São Paulo, and this is making progress all the time. 

What promotional tools should be used to develop the penetration of European films?

Firstly, greater financial assistance. Secondly, the creation of a mini promotional structure for European cinema. In São Paulo, for example, a local press attaché could supply the market with daily news. Based on what Unifrance does for French films, we would like to be able to rely on the presence of directors and actors when films are released. Finally, the establishment of a festival to present the best European films (whether or not they have been purchased), once a year, would make it possible to raise the profile of European films. When they are presented at existing festivals (São Paulo, Rio), European films get lost in a sea of 300 or 400 films.

May 2007, excerpts from Europa Cinemas´ Newsletter