Michal Drobny joined the distribution business the old fashioned way: ten years ago his family established Continental Film, s.r.o.
But family atmosphere is not the company´s only speciality. "Along with full-value service we provide marketing services and try to be in contact with the producer from the time the movie's origin. We try to bring our comments to the creation of the screenplay and in the development of the project," says Drobny, explaining a strength of Continental Film.
Currently Continental Film is number two on the Slovak market, with a 22% share. Of its 15 employeers, 6 are family members. Continental Film is a Warner Bros licence holder and a subdistributor of HCE, Czech Republic (www.hce.cz) and several Czech producers.
Undoubtebly, the its biggest film success is the distribution of the Harry Potter series. "Without that we could not distribute such films as The Science of Sleep - that is beautiful, but with very low commercial potential." Drobny is equally proud of distributing films by Pedro Almodovar along with many Czech and French films.
Continental's saw more succes in establishing of the cinema chain Cinemax, run by a sister company. "It is our long-term project, thanks to which people can enjoy film projection in comfortable seats, big screens, and with perfect sound in 8 cities and 37 cinemas. We provide them with commercial movies as well as with demanding titles," claims Drobny. The cinema's Art MAX programme is dedicated to those demanding art house films. The network of the Continental chain Cinemax helped precipatate a 60 percent increase in cinema attendance.
Still, Drobny has memories of the tough-going early days. "We had lot of ambitions, but we were under the stress of having only a small number of films, and were only in the state of acqusition." The situation lasted two first years.
Nowadays Continental's aim is clear: not only to increase distribution, but also, with the help of sister company Continental Media, to expand into co-production.