Magazine article Variety

Brian O'Shea: 'We Want to Do the Big Films and the Small Ones.'

Magazine article Variety

Brian O'Shea: 'We Want to Do the Big Films and the Small Ones.'

Article excerpt

Brian o'shea has led the Exchange to strong growth. Launched in 2011, the selffunded finance-sales company has sold and/ or financed such notable films as the awardwinning documentary "Gleason," "Chocolate City," "A Street Cat Named Bob," "The Spectacular Now" and "Dear White People." O'Shea recently talked to Variety about the company, iain blair

You're currently working on "A Girl From Mogadishu" from writer-director Mary McGuckian, which tells the story of Somali social activist Ifrah Ahmed and her fight against the horrors of female genital mutilation. It couldn't be more timely.

Absolutely, and we've always been drawn to and driven by unique powerful stories like this, which are a core part of breakout independent filmmaking. Nothing is more truthful than a real-life story, and the activist, who's in the film, is just so inspiring. So we felt this was so relevant in so many ways - women's rights, globalization, the oppression of minorities, the abuse of power. But we didn't realize just how relevant all these issues were going to be. And we also felt it had a lot of commercial potential too, because it's told in a very simple, authentic and beautiful way. We're in production now and looking for a fall 2018 release.

The company is doing very well. Talk about the diversification of The Exchange business model and its growth.

Diversification is the real key for us, and our core business is sales. We're completely self-owned and self-financed, and there are very few other selfowned, independent distribution, sales and production companies out there. We're cash-positive, we employ 12 people, and we have 200 titles in our library, and we reinvest profits back into the company. …

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