Acquisitive Minds: Sally Caplan

Senior VP, acquisitions and business affairs, Momentum Pictures, United Kingdom

Recent buys: “Rocky and Bullwinkle,” “Amelie de Montmartre,” “When Brendan Met Trudy”

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

“Working in the men’s underwear department at Marks & Spencer.”

How would you rate the acquisitions climate?

“There is a lot of concern that certain films are being rushed into production, but some buyers are nervous of being left with gaps in release schedules if we don’t take a chance on some of these. Obviously this doesn’t apply to my company at all. …”

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

“Patience, pragmatism, professionalism, presentation. Don’t be too pushy, and don’t promise things that are away with the fairies. I’m always more likely to take seriously people who have made the effort to present their project properly and actually thought about the audience for the film and taken a little time to try to understand the marketplace.”

What’s your favorite place to screen a film?

“Any place where I see a film I pre-bought for the first time and it’s actually good! Apart from that, I do still enjoy seeing a film at the Salle Jean Bory in Cannes or in my own living room, which is a lot smaller, but you don’t have to dress up.”

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

“Gone With the Wind.”