Arianna Bocco, acquisitions topper at IFC Films, is one of the busiest buyers on the circuit, picking up fest prizewinners left and right. Among her 30-plus purchases since joining IFC from the Gersh Agency 20 months ago, she snapped up last year’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days,” as well as this year’s Camera d’Or winner “Hunger” and grand jury-prized Naples-set gangster pic “Gomorrah.”
These films go out through IFC’s day-and-date model that combines theatrical and video-on-demand in the initial release. Also referred to as a “collapsed windows” approach, it’s a strategy that’s become increasingly accepted for indies, though it’s taken some time for filmmakers and sales agents to warm to the idea.
“It’s been challenging to get people onboard,” Bocco admits. “People would say, ‘This film can’t go through your little model.’ … (But) it’s been incredibly rewarding to see that people are now coming to us.”
It’s an interesting evolution for Bocco, who spent most of her acquisitions career at traditional distribution companies such as Miramax and New Line. “The old model is (for filmmakers) to get as much money up front because you’re never going to see a penny (on the backend),” Bocco notes, adding that the new model uses the collapsed windows to economic advantage. “You’re marketing a film more efficiently. You spend less up front, so there’s more upside.”
IFC launched Festival Direct earlier this year, a label that takes fest gems straight to VOD via an IFC-branded cable platform and later to homevideo. Bocco and her team feed that pipeline, too, bringing the acquisitions tally under Bocco’s watch so far to more than 50 titles.
“We have a great team for acquisitions,” she says, “and they’re empowered to bring forward the films they feel passionate about. There’s a lot of room for that here.”
Role model: “My grandmother.”
Three things in life I can’t do without: “My nieces, the Jersey shore, my passport.”
What I’m reading now: ” ‘Five Finger Discount,’ a memoir about a family in Jersey City; and ‘Interpreter of Maladies’ by Jhumpa Lahiri.”
If not Hillary, then who? “I’m disappointed it’s not Hillary, but I’m supporting Obama all the way.”
The most important issue facing Americans in this election year: “The economy.”
Fave leisure activity: “Sleep.”
Career mantra: “Less is more.”