Acquisitive minds: Dylan Leiner

Senior veep of acquisitions and productions, Sony Pictures Classics, U.S.

Recent buys:

Todd Louiso’s “Love Liza,” Pedro Almodovar’s “Talk to Her,” Yvan Attal’s “My Wife Is an Actress”

Rate the acquisitions climate:

“The acquisitions climate is changing unpredictably. There are films which seem to be working because they are uplifting, feel-good kinds of films. I don’t know whether that’s the aftermath of Sept. 11. In general, I think it’s a decent acquisitions market. Many of the films working right now were not necessarily in major categories of film festivals. Film festivals are the best place to launch specialized films but not the best place to buy them. It’s a yearlong market.”


“It is varied, in different circumstances. For the most part we want to work with filmmakers who are open to our style of doing business and trust in us as a partner. We have turned down pictures, or decided not to get involved with films, based on filmmakers’ ideas of how they want their film handled.”

Advice to filmmakers vying for your attention:

“To provide us with as much information about their films as possible, including who they perceive to be the audience and the people for whom the film was made, which will give us an opportunity to think more creatively about their films.The more context the better as we try to evaluate the film as it fits into the world not just as a product.”

Favorite place to screen a film:

“In our own screening room, without the distractions of a festival or market audience. The festival audiences are misleading. Sundance does not represent the general public. Cannes is a heavily critical audience. Market screenings are industry-laden. Toronto is a good place to screen a movie because it’s an incredibly diversified audience. In general, we have to be very careful in screening films at festivals.”

Films you wish you had picked up:

” ‘Mulholland Drive,’ ‘Bread and Tulips’ and ‘The Deep End.’ “