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New Sales Company Pulsar Content Launches With Nicolas Winding Refn Partnership (EXCLUSIVE)

Pulsar Content
Marc Obin

French film industry veterans Gilles Sousa and Marie Garrett, the duo behind Bac Films’ thriving international sales division, are teaming up with Logical Pictures to launch the Paris-based sales outfit Pulsar Content. The banner has also announced a partnership with Nicolas Winding Refn.

The production and financing outfit Logical Pictures was launched in Cannes 2016 and has so far invested in more than 20 projects, including “Farming,” which premiered at the Toronto Intl. Film Festival last year and will be released by Lionsgate in the U.K. next month, as well as Coralie Fargeat’s thriller “Revenge.”

Logical Pictures has invested in Refn’s new streaming service, NWR, and will be working with Pulsar Content on the filmmaker’s diverse projects, including his next feature film.

“Refn and I both share a similar vision of the industry’s evolution in terms of new opportunities,” Logical Pictures president Frederic Fiore said. “Since Refn has decided to produce his future original content under the byNWR brand, we will be cooking up some very innovative and interesting new projects.”

Pulsar Content will aim to set itself apart from other sales groups by developing a stronger focus on innovative marketing to facilitate the work of buyers and the use of blockchain technology.

“The eruption of streaming services in our industry has already turned the distribution sector upside down and the international sales field has also been affected,” Fiore said. “In order to thrive today, sales agents have to go the extra mile to attract buyers on projects at an early stage.”

Added Sousa: “There are lots of talent-driven or market-driven sales companies out there, but Pulsar Content’s mission is to be the first buyer-driven content sales boutique.” Sousa managed Bac Films’ international sales department for 12 years and built close ties with several high-profile filmmakers, notably Paolo Virzi, with whom he worked on “Like Crazy” and “The Leisure Seeker.”

Sousa said the Pulsar team believes it’s key to work hand-in-hand with buyers and producers to create in-depth, out-of-the-box marketing campaigns for each title, starting at the pre-production stage. Pulsar will be working with the London-based marketing outfit AllCity Media, among other banners.

Transparency is another mantra for the new sales outfit, which is why Pulsar Content will be using a blockchain app that allows buyers to connect and track what material is available and when, to pay directly for the material on the app at lab cost, and to be able to access it instantly. The app will also handle the payment schedule, revenue waterfall and expenses tracking.

“More than ever, the indie industry needs win-win and long-term partnerships. With the risks taken by producers and distributors, everyone is looking to enter a virtuous circle,” said Garrett, who joined Sousa at Bac Films three years ago after working at Studiocanal in Paris and eOne in London. Sousa and Garrett have also enlisted former Bac Films exec Aleksandr Fomin to join Pulsar Content as sales manager.

Pulsar Content will also screen two completed films in Toronto during the festival, including Leo Karmann’s first feature, “Simon’s Got a Gift,” a French tale following a young orphan who has an extraordinary power and takes on the appearance of his best friend after he dies in an accident. CAA is co-repping the film in the U.S.

Pulsar Content’s first slate also includes “Aznavour by Charles,” a documentary on the late French-Armenian crooner Charles Aznavour, featuring exclusive footage. Directed by Marc di Domenico, the documentary is narrated by Romain Duris. Some of Aznavour’s famous friends, including Edith Piaf and Frank Sinatra, are also showcased in the doc, which closed the Angouleme Film Festival on Sunday.

At Toronto, Pulsar Content will introduce the scripts of two new projects to buyers: “The Deep House,” which is being co-repped with XYZ, and “Resurrected,” a thriller produced by Timur Bekmambetov and his company Bazelevs. The film will be made in Screenlife format created by Bekmambetov and used in Bazelevs’ hits “Unfriended” and “Searching.” Directed by Egor Baranov (“Gogol”), “Resurrected” takes place in the near future when the Vatican has found a way to bring dead people back to life. The film is set on the computer of Stanley, an online church priest who uncovers a huge conspiracy.