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Cannes ISA of the Day: Nathan Fischer of Stray Dog Films

Cannes ISA of the Day: Nathan Fischer of Stray Dog Films

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. 


Based in Paris, Stray Dogs Films is a dynamic film distribution & sales company
with a commitment to distributing quality films and sharing the unheard voices
of filmmakers from around the world. Stray Dogs Films aims to create original
and provocative films with a clear vision and make a positive mark on global
cinema. Stray Dogs’ debut slate features Ben and Joshua Safdie’s Heaven Knows What starring Arielle
Holmes as a young heroin addict who finds mad love on the streets of New York.

Founder of Stray Dogs Films Nathan Fisher is a shining example of the
new wave of young, open-minded entrepreneurs in global distribution and film
sales.  His last position before he
started his own company was Head of Sales for the Other Angle Pictures. Nathan
also spent his first days in the film industry as an intern for Voltage,
Anonymous Content, and Wild Bunch in Los Angeles. 

What’s important to understand about Nathan is that he is open to new
forms of distribution technology – especially in this time where the younger
generations are consuming most of their content online. Nathan also works hard
to share the voices of filmmakers from outside the west. Grabbing a backpack and
hopping a plane to Trinidad or the Philippines just to spend time with unknown
filmmakers is the norm for him. His work to share these unheard voices is necessary
in a time where Hollywood dominates theatres worldwide.

Founder of Stray Dogs
Nathan Fischer shares more:

We decided to launch Stray Dogs and focus on director-driven
edgy films, because I think there is an increasing appetite for these types of
films in the market. Many established sales agents already focus on dramas for more
mature audiences, but I think director-driven genre movies really appeal to a
younger audience, which is more likely to watch these films in other ways like
VOD. There is a space for that in the market, which is overcrowded with
traditional dramas, and we are trying to fill that gap.

Down the road, I believe the frontier between sales agents
and distributors will be redefined. The sales agents will have to sometimes
take on the role of distributors, set up releases and work closely with
festivals, exhibitors and VOD platforms, and do the PR themselves. That’s what
I’m trying to set up with my own company.

I lived in Los Angeles for a couple years, working an
assistant and intern to various sales agents and producers like Voltage and
Anonymous Content. I interned at Wild Bunch for a while, and also worked for
talent and acquisition for several distributors. 

My last job was Head of  Sales and Acquisitions at Other Angle
Pictures. I’ve had many short experiences, but very diverse. It was great to be
able to understand the roles from all those great people and places.

I think we’re at the stage where we need to take steps and
just try to do different things. It’s good when you don’t have much experience,
because you’re less reluctant to try new things. A sales agent can be an actual
partner of the movie. 

I also travel a lot and lived in Asia for about a year. I got
very inspired while I was there, and that’s why this work makes sense for me.
I’m excited to represent films from these countries that I discovered and love
very much. 

We’re really excited to be working with talented directors
from the equatorial south. We’re building long-term relationships with them and
trying to get their films out there in different ways. We take more chances and
create real partnerships with these filmmakers.

I was just in the Philippines. I personally travel to these
places and hang out with the filmmakers. It’s very exciting. My backpacking
years are not so far behind me! I actually stay in youth hostels and producers
are happy because I don’t cost them too much. I prefer to spend money on market
screenings or anything that really helps the movie. Spending time with the
filmmakers, keeping my eyes open and developing long-term relationships with
them – that’s what I want to do right now before I don’t want to travel as
much. Now I can go anywhere and I love it.

Stray Dogs Slate:

A Long Breath 3D (On A Long Breath)

Knows What



Stay With You (Me Quedo Dontigo) 

Loves The Fighter

Womb (Sinapupunam) 


Life of Lenny Cooke



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