This Cannes, the Marché du Film and Cinando handed out their first-ever
prize: the Cinando Best Seller Award.
Thirteen sales agents from all horizons were invited to
participate in a pitching contest that took place on May 17th at the Marché du Film. Selected pitchers
were given details of a real project, “Codename Madeleine”, inspired by
historical events, from an original idea by Pan Nalin, its director. They then
had 48 hours to prepare a 5-minute pitch that would convince the Cinando Awards
jury composed of three distributors: Norio Hatano from Longride (Japan), Ira
von Gienanth from Prokino (Germany), Dylan Leiner from Sony Pictures Classics
(USA) and producer-sales agent Raphaël Berdugo from Cité Films (France).
The jury announced the contest winners at an event at the Plage
des Palmes on May 18th, alongside Jérôme Paillard, Market exec
director, Nicolas Brigaud-Robert from Films Distribution and John Hopewell from
Awardees were announced as follows:
– Winners Ex aequo: Chantal Chateauneuf,
Mongrel International (Canada) and Georgia Poivre, Films Distribution (France)
– Second Prize: Rahmat Adam, Creative
Content Malaysia (Malaysia)
– Honorable Mention: Emmanuel Pisarra, Doc
& Film International (France)
The 2 top winners got their portrait and interview in Variety.
Here their profiles written by John Hopewell.
Georgia Poivre, Films Distribution, France
From a an internship in acquisitions with Wild Bunch, based out of
New York over 2012-13, to a gig in the home entertainment marketing department
at Paris-H.Q.-ed Studiocanal in 2014, to international sales manager at Wide in
2015, Poivre has come a long way fast. She joined Paris-based Films
Distribution – one of Europe’s highest-profile sale companies with subsids or
affiliates in Berlin, Brussels and now London – as international sales manager
Pitching, Poivre said Wednesday, “I tried to do what I’ve seen
[Films Distribution partners] Nicolas [Brigaud-Robert] and Francois [Yon] do:
Get to the passion of the story, its essence, the characters. Without
motivation, there’s no character, no conflict, no story.” She was one of the
only sales agents to key into what really – in part – might have driven Khan:
Her desire to be an Indian “superhero,” in Poivre’s words, serving Britain in
WWII so that Britain would serve India’s interests, granting it independence.
Also, her Jewish fiance was deported. “Sometimes, romantic
motivation can be above all the rest,” Poivre said. “Dynamic,” in one juror’s
words, the ex-Boston U alum, majoring in film and TV, was born and raised in
Paris. She was also one of the only sales agents to give ‘Codename: Madeleine’
an industrial context.
“She talked about the timeline, when delivery would be, which kind
of festivals the film was suited for,” said Gienanth.
“I try to get very passionate about what I’m selling, communicate
not only the story but my excitement about it,” Poivre said.
“She takes pride and joy in getting people to agree with her,
convincing a buyer to see a movie or buy it. By the same token, she’s kind and
gentle, she doesn’t bully her buyer. If you push people too much, they get
scared. It’s like hunting,” said Brigaud-Robert.
Chantal Chateauneuf, Mongrel International
“A good seller is not the person that tells you the entire story
but is a person who tells you enough in order for you to want to engage with
the story,” Leiner argued.
Chateauneuf was a case in point. With “a flow in her pitch,” said
Gienanth, she captured the essence of the story concisely in very few minutes,
no easy task.
“It important the sales agent knows about the director they’re
pitching,” Gienanth added. Here Chateauneuf was in her element, Mongrel Intl.
having sold “Codename: Madeleine’s” director Pan Nalin’s latest film, “Angry
Indian Goddesses”: “He looks at women in India with a fresh, contemporary lens,
focusing on the average woman, who is moderately educated, dealing with real
female problems: Work-life balance, sexuality,” Chateauneuf enthused.
Like Poivre, Chateauneuf also keyed in what deep motivation” “Part
of it is her father’s influence, her religious inclination, which inspired her
to fight injustice around the world.”
Very together, Chateauneuf studied at Montreal’s McGill U, started
at Mongrel as sales coordinator in 2014 and, when it launched an international
sales division under Charlotte Mickie, moved to a sales position. “She’s
efficient, astute and passionate. An amazing combination! We’re so lucky
to have her on our team,” a proud Mickie glowed.