Acquisitive Minds: Ernesto Di Sarro

Prexy, Nexo, Italy

Recent buys: five-title New Line package that includes “Blow” and “Unconditional Love,” Spanish comic thriller “Common Wealth” and Brit thriller “The Hole”

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

“I’ve spent the past 35 years in exhibition, 25 of them also in distribution and production.”

How would you rate the acquisitions climate?

“At the moment I don’t perceive any great changes or imbalances. For a company like ours that is theatrical market-oriented, quantity is of little importance. We simply need good, original stories, strong directors and an appealing cast; and to maintain fruitful relationships, we need good producers and distributors.”

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

“They have to make me appreciate their script. And I need to get an idea of the type of market analysis they have undertaken to figure out what kind of audience they are going for and how the project will be received. They need to show me what elements are already in place that will make the project attractive to an audience.”

What’s your favorite place to screen a film?

“More than where a film is screened, for me, how it’s screened is what’s important. Wherever I find good promotion, good technical facilities, both visual and audio, and a genuine audience. … If I had to choose my favorite markets, I would say Cannes and Mifed.”

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

“‘Chocolat’ and the ‘The Barber Movie’ by the Coen brothers.”