Docs

TIFF ’18: Doc distributors round-up

Ahead of the razzle dazzle and famous faces that will grace the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, realscreen reached out to the distributors and sales houses that will be on the ground ...
September 5, 2018

Ahead of the razzle dazzle and famous faces that will grace the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, realscreen reached out to the distributors and sales houses that will be on the ground between Sept. 6-16 to see what films they are bringing to the annual event and what types of projects they are looking to scoop up.

You can also check out parts one and two of realscreen‘s TIFF Docs trailer round-up.

ABRAMORAMA

Abramorama is a New York-based global theatrical distribution and rights management partner for music films, founded in 2000.

Who from Abramorama is attending TIFF?
Richard Abramowitz, CEO.

What projects are you bringing to TIFF?
We always have a basketful of projects in various stages of fruition, but this year we don’t have any finished films in the festival.

What types of projects are you looking to buy, if any?
We are focused on music-themed documentaries and social issue films.

What is your take on the current state of the documentary market and TIFF’s role in it?
The documentary market is in a new Golden Age right now and we’re pleased to be part of it. In the last few years we’ve released Ron Howard’s Eight Days a Week — The Touring Years (pictured, below), about The Beatles, and Brett Morgan’s Jane, about Jane Goodall, in addition to docs about The Grateful Dead and Pearl Jam. TIFF is always a terrifically important event both in terms of premiering and releasing films in North America. I’ve been attending for about 30 years and wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Answers sent to realscreen in an email, from Richard Abramowitz.

Beatles-Eight-Days-A-Week

CARGO FILM & RELEASING

Founded in 2000, Cargo Film & Releasing are a New York-based sales agency and international distribution company. Cargo reps documentary features, music & arts, lifestyle, reality and history content for the domestic and international marketplace.

Who from Cargo is attending TIFF
President David Piperni.

What projects are you bringing to TIFF?
Director Cynthia Lowen’s Netizens follows a group of women who work tirelessly to put an end to the harassment of women online. Netizens is produced by Abigail Disney.

Satan & Adam (pictured, below) from Scott Balcerek chronicles the unlikely pairing of one-man-band Sterling “Mr. Satan” Magee and harmonica master Adam Gussow over two decades. The film is produced by The Kennedy-Marshall Company.

And Maceo Frost’s Too Beautiful: Our Right To Fight follows Namibia Flores Rodriguez, a female Cuban boxer who hopes one day to represent her country Cuba in the sport, which has banned women from participating in it. The film is produced by Revolver.

What projects are you looking to buy?
Documentary features for global representation. Older documentary films for over-the-top video streaming service Docurama – a newly relaunched digital channel owned by Cinedigm Corp.

What is your take on the current state of the documentary market?
More subdued than in previous years with fewer acquisitions overall. That forces us, as sales agents and executive producers, to be more selective and even more creative with our curation.

Answers sent to realscreen in an email, from David Piperni.

Satan and AdamDOGWOOF

Dogwoof is a London-based documentary distributor that sells worldwide rights and distributes theatrically within the UK, along with investing in the production of docs and docuseries.

Who from Dogwoof is attending TIFF?
Anna Godas, CEO; Oli Harbottle, head of distribution and acquisitions; and Ana Vicente, head of sales.

What projects are you bringing to TIFF?
Maiden (pictured, below) by Alex Holmes, about an all-women sailing crew headed by Tracey Edwards taking on the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1989/1990. The first four hours of Mark Cousins’s epic 16-hour project Women Make Film, the first section of which is narrated by Tilda Swinton (the project is executive produced by Swinton), with more narrators to be announced.

Can you describe the projects you’ll be showcasing?
Please see our TIFF Lineup page which expands on the above.

What projects are you looking to buy, if any?
We are looking for compelling, feature-length documentaries and TV series. Our focus is towards strong narrative structures that are highly cinematic and character-driven with strong international theatrical potential and clear appeal to audiences in the UK/worldwide. We are open to all themes, especially topical current affairs, fashion, music and the arts. We will come on board at any stage of a project and our involvement can range from world sales representation, UK theatrical distribution, to executive production and co-productions.

What is your take on the current state of the documentary market and TIFF’s role in it?
2018 has been a good box office year in the U.S. (RBG, Three Identical Strangers and Won’t You Be My Neighbor?) which has revitalized the documentary market, and there are more buyers looking out for them. Venice and TIFF are timely placed in the Academy Award run, and both studios and buyers are looking to launch or acquire at these festivals to make the most of the Autumn season.

Answers sent to realscreen in an email, from Ana Vicente.

maiden_02

ENDEAVOR CONTENT

Endeavor Content specializes in financing, sales and advisory services for premium television properties, documentaries, and feature films. Endeavor Content is a division of Endeavor (formerly WME | IMG ), a company who operates in more than 30 countries.

Who from Endeavor is attending TIFF?
Marie Sheehy, Graham Taylor, Mark Ankner, Alexis Garcia, Christina D’Souza Gelb, Christopher Slager, Josef Facarion, Liesl Copland, Kevin Iwashina, Lorenzo De Maio, Negeen Yazdi will all be attending from Endeavor Content. Deborah McIntosh might tentatively join as well.

What projects are you bringing to TIFF?
Docs are Victor Stone and Mark Deeble’s The Elephant Queen, which follows an elephant family across the African savanna.

Shannon Service and Jeffrey Waldron’s Ghost Fleet (pictured below) examines slavery in the Thai fishing industry.

Victor Kossakovsky’s Aquarela, which looks at the transformative beauty and power of water.

Errol Morris’ American Dharma, a portrait of controversial Breitbart honcho and Donald J. Trump advisor, Steve Bannon.

What projects are you looking to buy?
Documentary distribution rights and documentary remake rights.

What is your take on the current state of the documentary market?
It is an evolving marketplace which continues to grow  by way of more outlets and more consumers who enjoy the content.

Answers sent to realscreen in an email, from Kevin Iwashina, senior associate at Endeavor Content.

OSCILLOSCOPE LABORATORIES

Oscilloscope is a film production and distribution company based in New York City, focusing on indie films across genres and formats.

Who from Oscilloscope is attending TIFF?
Dan Berger, president; Aaron Katz, acquisitions; Andrew Carlin, theatrical sales; and Tom Sladek, home entertainment and digital.

What projects are you bringing to TIFF?
Searching for Ingmar Bergman (pictured, below).

Can you describe the projects you’ll be showcasing?
On the 100th anniversary of Ingmar Bergman’s birth, internationally renowned director Margarethe von Trotta examines Bergman’s life and work with a circle of his closest collaborators as well as a new generation of filmmakers. This documentary presents key components of his legacy, as it retraces themes that recurred in his life and art and takes us to the places that were central to Bergman’s creative achievements.

What kinds of projects are you looking to acquire?
We are looking to acquire docs with strong narratives and compelling subjects. We have eclectic tastes and we aim to acquire films we love.

What is your take on the current state of the documentary market and TIFF’s role in it?
I can always tell the market is doing well when my mom calls me to discuss the latest documentary she saw. This year I have received about four of those calls and had some great conversations, so I would say things are looking good. There have been major theatrical waves for docs recently and audiences are enthusiastic. TIFF’s doc slate this year highlights great contemporary filmmakers and new stories from around the world. It is hard to tell what effect these new films will have on the market without having seen them, but I expect a lot of these films to be major highlights of the coming year.

Answers sent to realscreen in an email, from head of acquisitions Aaron Katz.

Searching for Ingmar Bergman
About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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