Wild Bunch boss and co-founder Vincent Maraval has sparked a backlash after firing off tweets perceived as homophobic upon learning that Robin Campillo's AIDS drama "BPM ( Beats per Minute)" was chosen to represent France in the foreign-language Oscar category. Maraval had backed Michel Hazanavicius's "Redoutable," which had been shortlisted by France's Oscar committee and is being sold by Wild Bunch.A prominent but divisive figure in the French industry, Maraval has cultivated a reputation for brashness for more than a...
It is little coincidence that Wild Bunch founder Vincent Maraval scored one of the biggest triumphs of his career backing a black and white movie with no dialogue which Harvey Weinstein then distributed in the U.S. “The Artist” went on to score five Oscars, including best picture. In his hard-working, hard-partying M.O., Maraval is maybe the closest Europe gets to the Miramax legend.
It was the desire to buck the constrictions of big group politics that drove Maraval, one of a remarkable generation of late-last century tyro execs at distributor UGC, to team with Vincent Grimond, Brahim Chioua and Alain de la Mata and take Wild Bunch independent from Studiocanal in 2002, creating a sales company which has sold, financed, and distributed movies that range from the radical in style or content (“Fahrenheit 9/11,” “Only God Forgives,” “Love”) to big arthouse plays (“Pan’s Labyrinth,” “Blue is the Warmest Color”) to Romanian new wave (“4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days”) to movies from preeminent auteurs – Ken Loach, Jean-Luc Godard, Hayao Miyazaki, France’s Arnaud Despleschin – which Wild Bunch has supported through thick-and-thin.
One of Cannes’ preeminent sales forces but one of France’s most cosmopolitan companies, Wild Bunch launched L.A. based sales company Insiders, a driving force behind “Jackie,” to continue distributing American U.S. independent movies, while focusing on feeding its pan-European distribution network. Bedeviled by results from French distribution, Wild Bunch has moved into high-end TV sales and tapped a Chinese partner, Bliss Media, for Insiders. As it seeks a long-term financial base, the largest question is how its still resolutely independent line in movies can fare in digital distribution, a development Maraval has ardently espoused.