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Cannes ISA of the Day: Grégoire Melin of Kinology

Cannes ISA of the Day: Grégoire Melin of Kinology

The ISA of the
Day segment of SydneysBuzz resumes for the Cannes Film Festival 2015. ISAs, or
International Sales Agents, help to bring films into global distribution by
selling distribution rights to distributors worldwide.Topics include new
trends in distribution and sales, inspirational success stories, film slates
and more. A worthy read for any serious filmmaker looking to have a better
understanding of the chain of business between producing a film and sharing it
with the world. 

Kinology was founded by its Managing Director, Grégoire Melin
in May 2008. This newly created sales entity represents some of the most
ambitious and innovative European feature films starring international talent
such as Jean-Francois Richet’s hit Public
Enemy Number One
, Olivier Dahan’s My
Own Love Song
, and Mathieu Kassovitz’s Rebellion. 

Founder &
President of Kinology Grégoire Melin shares more:

The company was created seven years ago, right before Cannes
2008. 

I started EuropaCorp with Luc Besson and Pierre
Olange, a talented marketing person and now producer. I was in charge of international
sales there, which was great because I worked on all these big franchises like Transformers
and Taken, among many others. I worked on about 60 films while I was there.

Europa was fantastic, and I’ll never be able to thank Luc
and Pierre enough for all the opportunities they’ve given me to meet great
people and great directors, but there comes a moment when it gets hard to sell
the films you didn’t choose yourself. That is why I created my company, Kinology.

Gaellle Mareschi, head of International Sales &
Development, is also coming from Europa ( she worked there after I left) and
joined me in 2010. Since then, we have been working together and are the only
two sales agents.

We work on 5-7 films a year, and it’s difficult to say which
kind of projects we are choosing, because we work on concept films. For
example, the first film which was very successful for us was “Buried”.
 We loved the script and immediately signed
on the film long before it was shot. In Europe, it’s not financiers financing
the film and then they are looking for a sales agent. It’s much more that the
sales agents take the risk with the equity for the film in the beginning. 

We’ve done many films like “Days
of Grace”,
“Heartbreaker”,
and “Spring
Breakers”.
 Again, these are very eclectic but very concept-driven films.
We don’t care whether it’s English or French. We were also the sales agent on “A
Girl Walks Home Alone At Night”.
 We
love to launch unique visions with new or unique directors, and if I don’t
think a film is right for us, I will not take it.

We love the distributors we are working with. I love this
job, and going to market is really exciting because we know we are going to get
countless meetings with people we love. We are also very hands-on when it comes
to marketing.

Now we’re working on Terry Gilliam’s Don Quixote, and just
came back from Spain after working with Terry – we aim to start shooting the
film in August. This is an example of how we are very hands-on and try to really
support the producers we are working with. Since we are working on very few
films, it gives us time to go really in-depth. We know everything about the
films, every crew person, every element, and are very close to the projects.

We don’t usually have that many films in Cannes, but this
year we have films we really adore. Both are premiering at the festival. One is
called “Mustang”,
and we have a fantastic animation film that is winning prizes all around the
world called “Mune”
by Alexandre Heboyan.

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