×

San Sebastian: Digital Revolution Favors New Talent

Festival's round table underscores the challenges of online distribution

SAN SEBASTIAN   The advent of film’s digital revolution is helping producers to reduce costs and tap new talent but causes distributors to struggle to make achieve visibility for films in the infinite online market.

As was underscored Tuesday at a San Sebastián Festival round table, Digital Talent: New Creators, New Channels, New Audiences, producers now don’t need to travel to festivals to discover new talent: Digital natives self-produce short-films and send them to producers.

Avalon, a Madrid-based boutique film distributor-producer, has made a name for itself nurturing young talented directors such as Esteban Crespo, whose feature debut “Amar,” now in post, is co-financed by Netflix.

“The new generation of creators has a more natural relationship with the image than previous generations and use the image better than words to pitch their projects, they are more eclectic and much more flexible, said Avalon’s Maria Zamora.

“When Netflix boarded ‘Amar’ we told Esteban Crespo that the film will not screen in theaters. Instead of being distraught, he declared: “About 60 million people are going to watch my film,” she explained.

Vet Spanish director-producer Imanol Uribe (“Numbered Days,” “Far From The Sea”), who has used digital formats in his last two films -of a 14 feature career- considered “highly attractive and positive” the change, an opinion that some of his colleagues in Spain didn’t share.

“You can make a film with a smartphone. This has led to a situation where many low-budget films are being produced and very few big titles,” said Antonio Saura executive director of sales company Latido Films.

“There’s paradigm shift, according to Pau Brunet at L.A. and Navarre based-La Panda: “There are thousands of people who ten years ago would not have had a chance to make a movie. However, we never will get rich with film.”

On the other hand, online content, without marketing, is normally a drop in the ocean.

“To get the interest of an internet audience, you must invest a hundred thousand times more than in the past on marketing,” Saura said.

“There is so much offer that spectators often get lost. Hence the success of TV series success: The problem of what to choose is solved for a week,” said Filmin Juan Carlos Tous at VOD platform Filmin, whose classic film offer has seen an increasing demand among adult clients since the growth of the smart TV device market.

One challenge for the industry is big data: Companies that know so much about us that will give us what we want. This is the next step and there are very well-positioned companies. Amazon knows more about me than I do myself,” Saura said.

Moderated by Zentropa Spain producer David Matamoros, the round-table formed part of the 5th Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum. It was backed by Proa, Catalonia’s Federated Audiovisual Producers, an industry body.

More Film

  • A-Beautiful-Day-in-the-Neighborhood-Trailer

    Tom Hanks Channels Mister Rogers in 'Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood' Trailer

    It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood because Sony debuted the first trailer for its Mister Rogers movie starring Tom Hanks. “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” is inspired by a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers (Hanks) and Tom Junod (Matthew Rhys), a cynical journalist assigned to write a profile of the long-running television host. [...]

  • For web story

    'The Burnt Orange Heresy,' With Mick Jagger and Donald Sutherland, to Close Venice

    “The Burnt Orange Heresy,” starring Mick Jagger as a reclusive art dealer alongside Elizabeth Debicki (“Widows”), Claes Bang (“The Square”) and Donald Sutherland, has been selected as the Venice Film Festival closer.  The English-language art heist movie marks Italian director Giuseppe Capotondi’s first time back at Venice since 2009, when his debut feature film, the [...]

  • A woman prays at a makeshift

    Kyoto Animation Death Toll Rises to 34; Suspect Still Too Injured to Be Questioned

    Shinji Aoba, the man suspected of setting a fire that killed 34 people at the Kyoto Animation studio, remains hospitalized and too injured to be officially arrested and questioned. Police in Kyoto have obtained an arrest warrant for Aoba but cannot serve it because of his condition. Police sources have raised the death toll from [...]

  • Azania Muendane

    Locations Africa Expo Sends Message in Durban: ‘Africa is Ready’

    DURBAN–The first edition of the Locations Africa Expo and Conference was held this week during the Durban FilmMart, with an eye toward identifying and growing the opportunities to lure incoming productions to the continent. “Locations Africa is trying to service a need on the continent to discuss the physical production…on the ground, highlighting film commissions, [...]

  • The Lion King

    China Box Office: 'Looking Up' Is Surprise Weekend Winner Ahead of 'Lion King'

    Actor and comedian Deng Chao underlined his enduring popularity with mainstream Chinese audiences by delivering a surprise No. 1 box-office hit in “Looking Up” over the weekend. It scored $38.6 million in its opening frame, according to data from consultancy Artisan Gateway, and displaced “The Lion King” from its perch. “Looking Up” is a family [...]

  • Unathi Malonga

    Report Urges South African Media to ‘Step Up’ Against Gender Violence

    DURBAN–In a country with some of the highest rates of sexual and gender-based violence in the world, South African media must step up and play a greater role in the fight against gender inequality and gender-based violence. That was the conclusion of a report, “Gender, Diversity and Gender-based Violence in South African TV,” that was [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content