Acquisitive Minds: Bob Berney

Senior VP, marketing and distribution, IFC Films

Recent buys: Lucas Moodysson’s “Together,” Kristian Levring’s “The King Is Alive”

What prior job or experience best prepared you for film acquisitions?

“I owned a movie theater in Dallas, the Inwood Theater, which is now owned by Landmark. You learn what works from watching audiences.”

How would you rate the acquisitions climate?

“There’s been a lack of (distribution) options in the U.S. theatrical market for a while, but it seems the potential strike has motivated the larger companies to buy smaller films again. And the overall malaise in U.S. exhibition has scared everybody — most exhibs have been in some stage of Chapter 11.”

What’s your advice to filmmakers vying for your attention?

“Try to do something that demonstrates the marketability of a film. Usually when there’s a question about picking up a film it’s about its marketability.”

What’s your favorite place to screen a film?

“The main Palais theater in Cannes. People usually complain about Cannes, but what is there to complain about? It’s romantic and fun.”

Which film do you wish you had picked up but didn’t?

“‘Crumb.’ I screened it early but I was at Orion at the time and they were in the middle of reworking the company.”

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