The distributors will meet and present their companies at the festival from September 18-21.
Film New Europe presents snapshots of the eight selected distributors and the companies they represent.
Annemie Degryse (Belium), a prize-winning animated filmmaker, joined Lumière Productie (www.lumiere.be) in 2003 to found Lunanime, following a career that included coordinating Cartoon Movie for the MEDIA programme and the position of general manager of Flanders Image. Aside from her duties as acquisitions consultant and producer at Lumière, she serves on the selection committee at the prestigious Annency festival of animated films, where she keeps an eye out for films for possible DVD distribution, and is on the staff of the European Cultural Foundation. Degryse was raised in France, but returned to Ghent for animated film studies.
Lumière distributes in the Benelux territories. Its recent and upcoming titles include CEE standouts such as Tricks by Polish director Andrzej Jakimowski, Empties from Czech Oscar winner Jan Sverak, Sergei Bodrov's Mongol, and Tulpan from Kazakh director Sergei Dvortsevoy.
Peter Toiviainen (Finland) is marketing manager at Sandrew Metronome (www.sandrew.fi), responsible for domestic distribution as well as DVD releases. He was a founding member of Finland's Espoo Ciné film festival, where he served on a special jury commemorating 100 years of Finnish cinema. He is often quoted as a distribution expert in Finland and has participate in activities such as Finnish cultural foundation programmes.
Sandrew Metronome Distribution Finland is part of the four-country Sandrew Metronome film group distributing films in the Scandinavian territories. The Finnish company distributes some 100 titles per year. The company distributes a mix of Finnish films, Warner Brothers titles, and other European titles (primarily Nordic and British), with the occassional film from farther East, such as Nikita Mikhalkov's The Barber of Siberia.
Tatjana Curcinska Pepeljugoska (FYR Macedonia), director of distribution for Manakifilm (www.manakifilm.com.mk), not only had the to face the challenges of film distribution in an emerging market; she has had to fight for copyright protection and anti-piracy regulations. More recently, she was a featured discussion panelist on distribution in Southeastern Europe at CineLink in Sarajevo.
The Skopje-based company distributes film, DVD and video. ManakiFilm has won Eurimages distribution support for French films including Le héros de la famille, Un secret, La reine soleil, and Les amours d'Astrée et de Céladon.
Isleifur Thorhallsson (Iceland) is director of acquisitions for Green Light Films (www.greenlightfilms.is). Previously, in 2002, Thorhallsson joined Fridrik Thor Fridriksson's Icelandic Film Corporation (IFC) as head of marketing, sales and acquisitions.
Green Light's catalog of independent films from around the world includes Alexander Sokurov's 2007 Alexander,
Siobhán Farrell (Ireland), managing director of Eclipse Pictures (www.eclipsepictures.ie) began working in film distribution in the early 1990's, showing her potential by promoting films such as Trainspotting, more recently receiving credit for promoting and distributing the Irish documentary Saviours.
Eclipse Pictures was founded in 2002 and has become Ireland's leading independent distributor. Its selective list of titles includes La Vie en Rose and Slumdog Millionaire. The company distributes films in Ireland from Icon Film, Chelsea Films, Slingshot and Verve Pictures.
Kjetil Omberg (Norway), General Manager of Euforia (www.euforia.no), began working in the film business at age 21. He was the former marketing manager of Oro Film, Omberg recently was executive producer on the Euforia Film production Dead Snow, a comic horror film selected for the Sundance film festival Midnight Screenings.
Since 2008, the company's titles have included offbeat titles such as Lars and the Real Girl and Hunger.
Gil Santos (Portugal) is Director of theatrical distributor Ecofilmes (www.ecofilmes.pt) and video distributor Prisvideo. He took the company into theatrical distribution of Portugese films in 1998, when the Portugese Ministry of Culture signed an agreement of distribution support with Ecofilmes.
The company has a long record of distributing challenging French films such as Funny Games in Portugal, but saw one of its biggest hits with 1492: The Conquest of Paradise, which earned over $6.5 million for the company in 1992.
Zoran Stanković (Serbia) is Executive Manager of MegaCom Film (www.mcf.rs). He has served as Managing Director of Macedonia's Balkan Film, he has been coordinator of MegaCom's Children's Film Festival in Belgrade, which was established in 2005.
Since 2007, MegaCom Film also organizes a festival of films from new directors. The company handles DVD distribution and TV sales as well as theatrical distribution, and works in Montenegro, Bosnia, and Macedonia. Its catalog spans the artistic (Coco avant Chanel) and the popular (Superhero Movie) and a mix inbetween (District 9, Maradona).