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ISA of the Day: Virginie Devesa of Alpha Violet

ISA of the Day: Virginie Devesa of Alpha Violet

Alpha Violet is a unique sales company based in Paris and
was started by Virginie Devesa and Keiko Funato. These experienced and
passionate women focus on refined films–stories that are works of art that
they are inspired to share.

There’s something to be said about the power and magic of
good working relationships; the two have worked incredibly well together for
years and the first film they ever brought to Cannes (2012), Here and There,
won the Grand Prix of Critics’ Week. They started at Celluloid Dreams and then joined
Urban Distribution International where Devesa setup the company’s international
arm and where Funato used her legal expertise. Beyond the marriage of their
legal and sales strengths, it was their strong connection, teamwork and passion
for sharing the films they love on screens around the world that ignited the
creation of Alpha Violet three years ago.   

Devesa explains more
about their success and background:

We have very intense communications with all of our producers.
I want them to feel comfortable with every move we make. This is the way we
work. Sharing these films is our life. We’re totally passionate and this is why
we started our company.

We’ve got a few titles that were distributed in the United
States. We have a French film called 2
Autumns 3 Winters
, which will be distributed by Film Movement in the
USA in June of this year. The main actor is Vincent Macaigne, and he totally
cracks us up. He was the only actor on the Croisette with three films in
selection last year.  

We have a total 18 films. The first film we launched was in
Berlin called Off
White Lies
(from Israel), which was also distributed by Film Movement.
Then we were lucky with one film shot entirely in Mexico called Here and There
by Spanish filmmaker Antonio Mendez who won many awards internationally. 

Titles at Cannes

Last year, we had a first feature film directed by Marcela
Said called The
Summer of Flying Fish
that screened at Directors’ Fortnight, (also a
part of the official selection of Cannes). Every year since we’ve started,
we’ve always had a first feature in Cannes. We love first features because the
director is really driven to get his energy out there.

We’re very excited about our film in competition. It’s called
The Tribe, a Ukrainian feature film by Myroslav
Slaboshpytskiy. It’s his first feature. It’s actually a very special
film because it’s only in sign language. There is no translation, no voiceover,
but it was shot entirely with deaf people in a school. It’s a love/hate revenge
story. It’s very strange, because it’s very easy to understand what’s
happening. There’s no need for translation or dialog. The idea started with a
short film called Deafness; this is when he realized that sign language has
nice choreography. 

Who are your buyers?

We have a wide range of buyers. We worked with many good distributors
through Celluloid Dreams back in 2000, and we’ve grown with them throughout the
years. Many were buying lots of art house feature films, and now they’re with the
more established companies.

What are your
backgrounds?

I studied foreign languages in France and business
communications in the United States. My business partner is 100% Japanese. She
worked in distribution for an art house company called Uplink in Japan, and she
decided to come to France and work in cinema. She always wanted to have her own
company to be able to represent the films that she chooses.

What types of films
are you looking for?

We have many films directed by women, because we are women
and we feel like we have different perspectives–especially about intimacy, love,
and the father daughter relationship. We have six women directors, and we’re always
looking for more. I guess films with emotions…films that make us understand,
dream, and share. 

See
Alpha Violet’s Cannes lineup here
 

More About Alpha
Violet:

ALPHA VIOLET is a new independent sales company based in
Paris. Virginie Devesa and Keiko Funato met together while working for
Celluloid Dreams.           

They share the same passion
for working with filmmakers and producers.
They have also worked together for UMedia 
(Urban Media) and their combined experiences have led them
to work together
again today with
the creation of their sales company, Alpha Violet.            

They wish to offer with their new label a transparent way to
promote their films worldwide thanks to a special database. They have received the support of the
French Chamber of
Commerce of Paris for their
project  and  they have established their offices in one of the prestigious
“pépinière” in Ménilmontant, Paris.           

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