Portuguese film distributor Midas Filmes has picked up a slew of new acquisitions, including Nanni Moretti’s upcoming “Three Floors,” Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s “Memoria” and Daniele Luchetti’s “The Ties,” which opened this year’s Venice Film Festival.
The Lisbon-based company, which is taking part in this year’s International Classic Film Market (MIFC) focus on Portugal in Lyon, France, has also recently picked up Belgian helmer Lucas Belvaux’s “Home Front,” starring Gérard Depardieu; “The Woman Who Ran,” by Hong Sang-Soo; and “Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue,” Chinese director Jia Zhang-ke’s documentary about a local literature festival in Shanxi, China, which premiered at this year’s Berlinale.
Launched in 2006, Midas Filmes has released more than 60 films and boasts a DVD catalog of more than 200 films. Catalog titles and classics play major roles in the distributor’s repertoire, some 85% of which comprises international films, about 10% Portuguese titles and 5% U.S. pics, according to Marta Fernandes, Midas Filmes’ head of distribution and acquisitions.
The company recently released theatrically restored versions of Akira Kurosawa’s “Ran,” Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now – Final Cut” and Elem Klimov’s 1985 Soviet anti-war film “Come and See,” about a young Belarusian who joins the resistance against the Nazi German occupation of Belarus.
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While Midas Filmes mostly acquires already restored films, the company has partnered with Portuguese Cinematheque on some Portuguese titles for theatrical and DVD releases, Fernandes added.
In Lyon, the Portuguese Cinematheque is presenting Paulo Rocha’s 1966 classic “Change of Life.” Midas Filmes released the film theatrically and on DVD in partnership with the Cinematheque. The distrib will also present its recently released restored titles and upcoming releases at the MIFC.
Despite the recent growth of streaming services, Fernandes says exploitation for catalog and classic film titles on the platforms are limited, with some exceptions.
“Many of the new streaming platforms don’t acquire European or independent films. In Portugal, we work mainly with Filmin. But we would welcome Netflix and HBO to be more available for these collaborations.”
Nevertheless, the company’s most successful recent titles streaming include Roman Polanski’s Cesar-winning “An Officer and a Spy”; Safy Nebbou’s 2019 Berlinale screener “Who You Think I Am”; Paweł Pawlikowski’s “Cold War”; “and, among films that we can already consider classics, ‘Mulholland Drive,’ by David Lynch,” Fernandes added.
While there is little demand among Portuguese TV broadcasters for classic and catalog films, Midas Filmes’ newer titles have been picked up by local pay TV provider TVCine, among them “An Officer and a Spy”; Céline Sciamma’s Cannes screener “Portrait of a Lady on Fire”; Ira Sachs’ “Frankie”; and Waad Al-Kateab’s BAFTA-winning documentary “For Sama.”
Other Midas Filmes pics, such as Matteo Garrone’s “Dogman,” Agnès Varda’s “Faces Places,” Eva Husson’s “Girls of the Sun” and Moretti’s “Santiago, Itália” have recently aired on Portuguese pubcaster RTP.