Ann Julienne, head of acquisitions and international coproductions, France 5, France
Often when a distributor says: ‘We know this might not be quite right for you…’ it’s fair to say the broadcaster likely won’t be interested. But for Julienne, if you’re a distributor who’s done their homework and not only knows the channel but also the formats for which France 5 is looking, and what slots are available, proposing a different kind of film is more acceptable. ‘We know they are making the assumption that we should look at it on a well thought out basis,’ she says. Otherwise, she’s wasting a lot of valuable time reviewing programs that are outside of her editorial policy. ‘It becomes too much of a chore to work with them,’ she admits.
Speaking of a lot of work, Julienne believes some distributors haven’t grasped the fact that she spends a significant amount of time screening product. ‘They think it won’t hurt us to screen something they aren’t sure will work because we have time to do so, but we don’t.’
Markets are harrowing for everyone in attendance, and Julienne has experienced moments where distribs have attempted a hard sell outside of a meeting space. ‘In the corridors, in hotel lobbies and elevators and yes, especially in the rest rooms,’ she says. Probably areas where it’s best to hold off on the pitch.