Wild Bunch Launches LA-Based International Sales Outfit

Pan-European shingle Wild Bunch is launching Insiders, an L.A.-based international sales company that will be spearheaded by Wild Bunch co-founder Vincent Maraval.

Unveiled in the run-up to Cannes, the outfit will be focusing on the trading of independent films with budgets above $15 million and will give third-party financiers the opportunity to become equity owners, along with Wild Bunch, in the company.

“We started working on the creation of this new company a year ago because we noted that the U.S. market has become very dynamic and competitive with equity firms playing an increasingly important role in financing independent films; as a result we were taking less U.S. indie movies since we couldn’t match the financing – and especially the domestic risk portion — provided by these equity players,” Maraval told Variety. 

“Through Insiders, we’ll be able to access those films by focusing only on foreign sales and we’ll work hand-in-hand with equity firms,” said Maraval.

The two major incentives for Insiders are to continue working and building ties with talented filmmakers like Jeff Nichols and Sean Penn and being involved in critically-aclaimed projects, as well as make some profits from international sales, which is a lucrative business in itself, per Maraval. 

Although the U.S. indie landscape already features various outfits such as Voltage and Sierra dedicated to international sales, Insiders will have the competitive advantage, due to its European links, to make some projects benefit from European financing schemes, as well as give equity partners the option to become shareholders, pointed out Maraval, adding that Insiders will also be handling English-language films initiated by European producers. 

Insiders’ first slate, which will be introduced to Cannes buyers next week, includes Jeff Nichols’ “Loving” and Sean Penn’s “Flag Day.” Two more projects will be announced at Cannes.

Tapping into Wild Bunch’s vast knowledge of the international market and 15-year experience, Insiders will sell — as well as market — their films to all foreign distributors.

Wild Bunch has handled a flurry of critically-acclaimed films, from “Fahrenheit 9/11” to “The Wrestler” and “Pan’s Labyrinth.”

The new entity will be created in the coming months.

Creative Artists Agency (CAA) advised on the deal and brokered the partners’ deals, which will be announced shortly on behalf of the new entity.

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