FNE Europa Distribution: Distributor of the Month: Jakub Mróz, Tongariro Releasing

Jakub Mróz Jakub Mróz

FNE together with Europa Distribution is launching a new chapter of the Distributor of the Month section. This time we focus on new strategies in film distribution and the importance of domestic film festivals in releasing new titles. We will also be looking at what distributors can do in order to prevent piracy.

outfilmThis month we speak with Jakub Mróz, the president of Tongariro Releasing the first distribution company in Poland specialized in GLBT cinema (gay, lesbian, bisexual and trangender).

It has released 23 titles theatrically and its VOD service outfilm.pl contains almost 200 films. Tongariro Releasing will celebrate its 5th anniversary in March 2014.

FNE: What are the innovative strategies that you choose to apply in film distribution?

Jakub Mróz: For quite a long time we have tried to make day and date releases in theatres and on VOD. This is quite successful, especially when you don’t have too many screens. This month we will try something new. The film Boys by Mischa Kamp will have a premiere in theatres and on VOD on 27 February 2015. Two weeks earlier it will be possible to watch this film on VOD but only for one day.

FNE: Are there any challenges implied by these innovations?

J.M.: Comprehensive communication. We have to address cinemagoers and VOD users at the same time. And these two ways of watching films can respond to different needs.

FNE: What festival is the most important showcase in your country for your films and why? Are there any other showcases in your country besides this festival?

J.M.: Tongariro distributes LGBT cinema, but our films are also invited to festivals dedicated to general viewers. New Horizons, Off Plus Camera, Two Riversides, Black Bear, and Cinergia are great festivals with unforgettable atmosphere which have developed their loyal audiences.

FNE: How does a success (or "disappointment") in a festival relate to a success (or "disappointment") in cinemas?

J.M.: Of course a festival's success helps with promotion and publicity a lot. It improves the recognition of a title. But the people who watch films in cinemas may have a different motivation than the festival audience. Therefore, success in a festival doesn’t directly mean success in distribution.

FNE: Does piracy affect your VOD/DVD releases and is there anything you can do in order to prevent it?

J.M.: Piracy is a big problem in Poland. Sometimes people don’t even know that they use illegal services. Especially when they pay to watch films. What we try to do is to release films on VOD as soon as it is possible, close to a world DVD or DVD premiere. Sometimes we also use services like Muso.

FNE: Which film do you think might describe your work in the most accurate way and why?

J.M.: It is definitely The Way He Looks by Daniel Ribeiro, which won FIPRESCI and Teddy Award in Berlin last year. It is a story of a young guy, Leonardo, who is brave enough to try to make his dreams come true. And he receives big support from his family and friends. It's the same with Tongariro. The LGBT market in Poland is not big, but still we try to introduce high quality gay-themed films here. And we wouldn’t be able to do that without the support coming from the theatres, media and our audience.

Tongariro Releasing
Ul. Rybaki 18a
61-884 Poznan
Phone: +48 515 270 800
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