Led by Delphine Perrier and Arianne Fraser, Highland Film Group is an independent worldwide sales, production and film financing company, which they launched in 2010. Their slate includes Lin Oeding’s thriller “Braven” starring Jason Momoa (out this month), Vaughn Stein’s “Terminal” starring Oscar-nominee Margot Robbie, and the star-studded “Berlin, I Love You” with Helen Mirren, Keira Knightley, Jim Sturgess, Mickey Rourke, Diego Luna, Orlando Bloom, Patrick Dempsey, and Jenna Dewan Tatum.
You have an impressive slate.
Yes, we’re very busy. We’ll be showing “Berlin, I Love You” at Berlin for buyers, along with Scott Mann’s “Final Score” starring Dave Bautista and Pierce Brosnan, and we’ll be screening Jon Avnet’s “Three Christs” starring Richard Gere, which we’re very excited about. And then we also have Eric Bress’ supernatural psychological thriller “Ghosts of War” which is in post production, and “The Manuscript” starring Morgan Freeman.
What’s the current state of the indie film business?
I’d say it’s neither healthy nor sick. It’s an evolution, and the market has to keep adjusting, and that’s what it does. It’s definitely an interesting time and very different from what it was a couple of years ago. It’s a challenging environment, and issues like piracy are still a big threat internationally, but I think we have better quality films and there are lots of new creative ways of distributing them.
What do you think of the current international distribution scene?
It always takes some time to catch up with the U.S. market, and there’s the challenge of accessing the digital world. It’s also more challenging doing pre-sales than when we started, but that means we just have to be more creative.
You’ve made a name for handling testosterone-driven action films with stars like Bruce Willis, John Travolta and Nicolas Cage. Do stars still sell overseas?
They do. They’re proven, solid values internationally, and action sells everywhere and everyone responds to the genre, whereas you can have a comedy or drama that doesn’t necessarily translate to a foreign market.
Do you see a move towards more female-driven actioners, like “Atomic Blonde”?
It’s definitely a trend, and we have “A Vigilante” starring Olivia Wilde, about abused women, and written and directed by a woman — Sarah Daggar Nickson — and we’ll be screening it at SXSW in March.
What’s it like being a woman in the biz in the #MeToo era?
It’s fantastic! I think all the women’s movements and marches are part of the normal evolution of society, and I think there are a lot of good men in the business who’ve always treated us with respect.