Ryan Kampe, president of New York-based Visit Films, is using the Toronto festival to launch a new company, Pretty __ Ideas, a film-project incubator offering broad-based production, finance and distribution support to bring movies to life and aid them through the whole industry cycle.
Backed by Kampe, Pretty __ Ideas will be run by Jennifer Sperber, following her departure from The Weinstein Company, where she contributed to John Carney’s “Sing Street” and “The Imitation Game.” Spearer’s oversight will include acquiring and managing the company’s projects and dealing with filmmakers, financiers, sales agents and festivals, Kampe said in a press statement Thursday.
Pretty __ Ideas is looking to partner on four to six projects a year, which will be a mix of English-language narrative, foreign-language narrative and documentaries. The project size can range from micro-budget to more ambitious films which have studio distribution potential. The company offers early-stage financial support
Founded by Kampe in 2005, Visit Films has carved out a reputation as a highly regarded sales agent of big fest-selected world cinema titles. Pretty __ Ideas will allow Kampe to move into development and production. In a cautious market, despite huge competition for top titles and talent, sales agents have often entered projects after they are already completed.
As the growth of digital distribution challenges filmmakers to navigate an increasingly complex sales scene, Pretty __ Ideas looks set to allow Kampe to board movies upstream at pitch, treatment or first-draft stage. For filmmakers, Kampe argues, Pretty__ Ideas will fill a hole in the market.
“The market has been in constant change for years, and we are trying to support filmmakers at the stage when no one else, at least in the U.S., is supporting them,” Kampe said.
Visit Films has traditionally entered projects when its hands “were often handcuffed by decisions made before our involvement,” Kampe added. “Pretty ____ Ideas can [ensure] that all possible distribution paths for these films are addressed early in the project’s life and that someone is thinking about the long tail of the film while the filmmakers focus on making the best film.”
Sperber said that “as the company name implies, we will be looking for pretty ‘amazing,’ ‘bold,’ ‘fresh’ or any other appropriate adjective, ideas.”
Pretty __ Ideas will take over the management of some projects launched at Visit. One is Irish prison break thriller “Maze,” which is in post-production and stars Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (“Love/Hate”) and Barry Ward (“Jimmy’s Hall”). Studiocanal has acquired “Maze” for the U.K. and NonStop Entertainment for Scandinavia.