Magazine article Screen International

Wild Bunch Launches LA Sales Arm Insiders

Magazine article Screen International

Wild Bunch Launches LA Sales Arm Insiders

Article excerpt

Wild Bunch has announced the launch of a new LA-based sales company, called Insiders, focused on independent pictures with budgets above $15m.

The new outfit will act as a sales service company for third party financiers, who will eventually also have the opportunity to take an equity stake in the entity. Insiders will be their independent sales agent, marketing their films to distributors around the globe.

Wild Bunch co-founder Vincent Maraval said the creation of Insiders was in response to the growing importance of equity financiers in the financing of independent film production in the US.

"Over the last few years we've seen the American market for the financing of independent film change - with equity partners increasingly financing independent American films more than distributors," he told ScreenDaily.

As a result of this trend, he said, Wild Bunch has been increasingly acting as a sales service provider on US titles, rather than as a producer and seller as was the case, for example, on James Gray's The Immigrant.

"We saw this trend accelerating at Cannes last year and decided it made sense to set up a separate entity to handle these films in parallel to Wild Bunch titles... They require two different approaches," said Maraval.

"When we sell films financed by Wild Bunch we have time... and we can also make decisions quickly because they're our films. When you launch a film for a third party, it's a different process... you have to discuss the strategy with your partners, " he explained.

Recent third party films handled by Wild Bunch include Oliver Stones' upcoming Edward Snowden drama.

Equity stake

Insiders, Maraval said, would be a "pure trading" company - in the vein of Film Nation and Summit in their early days - offering sales servicing for equity financiers, but in addition equity financiers who worked closely with the company could also ultimately take a stake in the outfit.

"During our time in LA we noticed there was a real need on the part of the equity financiers to have a distribution company for the films they were financing but there was also frustration over not being able to have a stake in such a company," said Maraval. "We built our business plan around that. …

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