Managing director for Australia’s Roadshow Films, Joel Pearlman has boosted his acquisition of niche titles to compensate for the poor showing of local Oz films in recent years — and because the competitive theatrical environment “forced us to be open to different types of films.”
Roadshow has output deals with Warner Bros. and New Line in Oz and New Zealand.
Cannes 2004 pickups: “Bad Education,” “Brokeback Mountain,” “The Brothers Grimm” and “Million Dollar Baby”
Wish list: “If there’s a film we like, we’ll buy it. There’s no formula other than the film must have strong theatrical potential. This business is completely material-driven, dependent upon the quality of scripts and talent at any given time. Our bread and butter is much more geared toward commercial material. That said, we release films on any number of screens. Roadshow doesn’t get defined like Sony Classics does.”
Roadshow recently bought “Seven Swords” from Fortissimo. “Would we have bought an Asian-language film three years ago? Probably not, but following the success of ‘Hero’ and ‘Crouching Tiger’ we’re prepared to give it a go.”
Market health: “Difficult, there’s been a lot of consolidation, which means less suppliers. But there’s always something, you’ve just got to look for it. And we don’t get caught up in bidding wars. We don’t ask, we don’t care.”
Fave Cannes screen: “Definitely the Palais. It’s a fantastic environment to watch a film, there’s a highly charged atmosphere that’s quite intoxicating.”
Regrets: ” ‘The Motorcycle Diaries.’ I loved it, but one of my competitors was smart enough to buy it before we did. Hats off; it was a brilliant acquisition.”