5 items from 2014
Our International Sales Agent (Isa) of the Day coverage is back again for this year's Cannes Film Festival. We will feature successful, upcoming, innovative and trailblazing agents from around the world, and cover the latest trends in sales and distribution. Beyond the numbers and deals, this segment will also share inspirational and unique stories of how these individuals have evolved and paved their way in the industry, and what they envision for the new waves in global cinema.
Isa's of the Day will be posted regularly during Cannes, but the buzz has already begun with the recent release of the festival lineup -- so expect to see Isa updates over the coming weeks.
The first Isa of the Day is Lise Romanoff, Managing Director and CEO of Worldwide Distribution at Vision Films. Based in Sherman Oaks, California, Vision Films is an independent Worldwide Sales Agent and VOD Aggregator of over 500 Feature Films, 500 Documentaries and 100 different Music Programs from some of the most prolific independent film producers in the world.
In early 2013, Vision Films expanded into the world of domestic distribution with the creation of their own DVD/ VOD label, releasing films day-and-date on DVD and VOD through all cable and digital platforms such as Comcast, Directv, Dish, At&T, iTunes and Amazon, and retailers including RedBox, Walmart, Best Buy and Target. It is one of the few independent companies with a worldwide presence to also have a domestic division. Vision Films works directly with all its platforms and has no middlemen, releasing at least 2 - 3 titles on DVD and 3 - 4 titles on VOD every month.
Since opening their doors as a DVD/ VOD label, Vision Films has released an array of independent feature films including Hamlet And Hutch with Burt Reynolds; Wreckers, a coming-of-age story starring Benedict Cumberbatch; The Employer, an intense thriller starring Malcolm McDowell; Contract Killers is a non-stop martial arts action picture; and Sunset Strip, a music and pop culture documentary that chronicles Strip from its origins in the 1920s through today featuring Slash, Johnny Depp, Mickey Rourke, Dan Aykroyd, Keanu Reeves, Ozzy Osbourne, Hugh Hefner, and music from Jane’s Addiction, Smashing Pumpkins, and more.
The Vision Films catalog also has stories of global consciousness, including Comedy Warriors, a documentary where Zach Galifianakis, Lewis Black and Bob Saget help disabled soldiers heal through humor by teaching them stand-up comedy; Finding Happiness by Ted Nicholaou, a spiritual journey starring Elisabeth Röhm; Femme: Women Healing The World with Sharon Stone by Emmanuel Itier; and Shirin In Love, a romantic comedy starring Nazanin Boniadi by Ramin Niami about a quirky Iranian-American young woman who goes against tradition to follow her heart.
Lise Romanoff recently took the time to speak with SydneysBuzz:
What are buyers looking for?
2014 has been a vibrant year! Buyers are looking for product that can play across all channels of distribution: Theatrical, Home Video, VOD and Television. VOD has opened up a lot of doors for “niche” product because the Internet is the best way to find a specific fan base. We are offering star-studded feature films and top-notch documentaries that entertain and inspire. We attend all of the film markets, as well as the TV markets, and even the specialty territory-specific regional markets.
Where are the strongest markets?
U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, Germany, France, Italy and Japan are the strongest countries, but for the most part, sales are evenly spread around the world.
How are sales going?
Sales are up about 30% this year, but we are working harder than ever. Many of the films that we started pre-selling last year are now completed.
What are your intentions for Cannes?
We're looking to sell the films we are bringing to Cannes, and we're looking to acquire new family, action and animated features.
What is your line-up for Cannes?
Vision Films’ Cannes line-up includes God Loves Caviar, the journey of Ioannis Varvakis from humble Greek pirate to international caviar millionaire with Catherine Deneuve and John Cleese; The Identical, earmarked for a wide screen theatrical release this fall in the U.S. stars Ashley Judd, Seth Green and Ray Liotta and introduces Blake Rayne as the identical twin of the biggest rock star in the world; As Dreamers Do, a bio pic about the early years of Mr. Walt Disney; 10 Things I Hate About You is the sequel to Gil Junger’s 10 Things I Hate About Life starring Evan Rachel Wood and Thomas McDonell; Fear Clinic with Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger) will bring a new meaning to phobias this fall; and Mantervention, a sexy comedy with Chloe Bridges, where Travis Van Winkle shows Nick Roux how to get over his ex and #ontothenext.
Why include globally conscious films in your catalog?
A lot of documentaries make you think. It's important to take a few minutes and look at the world around us. Documentaries traditionally don’t garner as much revenue as feature films, but it makes me feel very good to have them in our catalog. I also feel that if I have this type of product, I'll attract other companies that have the same mission to release films that give back to the world.
We'll always continue to sell good horror or action films, but selling films with good messages makes me very happy at this point in my career.
As far as distribution is concerned, VOD is a good type of niche for this programming. On the long-term view... as the Internet develops, and people have go-to sites for these types of films, it will work. We will be able to develop these channels, bring like-minded communities together, and generate more money for the filmmakers so they can continue to produce these kinds of films.
How did Vision Films start?
Founded in 1997 and based in Sherman Oaks, California, Vision Films started in the garage of it founder, and now has grown to become an independent Worldwide Distributor and VOD Aggregator of thousands of feature films, documentaries and music Programs. Vision Films manages all available rights from Theatrical, Video, Television and VOD/ Digital Media in both the International and domestic marketplaces. Vision works closely with producers to develop a special marketing plan as well as a strategy to license their film(s) to the right distributors around the world through relationships cultivated over nearly 24 years.
*Additional Information for Vision Films
Vision Films’ mission is to provide top-notch independent feature films, documentaries and music programming that entertain, inspire, and informs audiences. Vision Films invests time and effort to keep on top of the latest cutting-edge technological innovations of the rapidly growing digital domain. We treat each release as special and unique. We respect our filmmakers and involve them in the release of their films, as today it’s all about reaching the core audience and we believe producers know how to do just that.
Lise Romanoff is the Managing Director/ CEO of Worldwide Distribution and has been in the feature film and television distribution business for more then 20 years. Lise specializes in North America (U.S. and Canada), U.K., France, Italy, Australia/ N.Z., and Africa markets, focuses on the company’s expansion into domestic DVD and Video On Demand (VOD) distribution. Lise also serves as a Chairperson/ Secretary to Ifta’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors. Adam Wright is the Executive Vice President/ International Sales and Acquisitions who specializes in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America markets. Adam was formerly President of Regent Worldwide Sales and a sales executive at Porchlight and Turner. Alexandra Sparer is a Sales Associate who specializes in Eastern and Central Europe including Russia, as well as Scandinavia, India, Turkey, Greece markets. Alex Saveliev is the Director of Domestic Distribution for Vision Films’ DVD/ VOD label. Nathan Ross is the Director of Servicing and Digital Operations.Jasmine Abrams is the Contracts Manager.Monique Green is the Director of Finance.Jennifer Schultz is the Sales and Marketing Coordinator. »
- Erin Grover
An innocuous romantic comedy, “Shirin in Love” sets its slightly ditzy, definitely perky heroine on a path toward fulfillment that diverges from the expectations of her wealthy Beverly Hills Iranian-American milieu. This setting provides a superficial novelty that writer-helmer Ramin Niami doesn’t explore in any depth, while everything else is strictly formulaic — and tame enough that it might have passed muster for Doris Day and Rock Hudson 50 years ago. Pic opens Friday in 20 U.S. theaters (some screening a dubbed all-Farsi version), but that leap of faith is likely to pay off mostly in improved visibility for the VOD release likelier to locate an audience.
Perpetually running afoul of aspiring-novelist traffic cop Henderson (George Wallace) by running stop signs in her vintage Vw, Shirin (Nazanin Boniadi) is an improbable former human-rights attorney who bowed to her family’s wishes, giving up that calling to work as book editor at »
- Dennis Harvey
Sideshow Releasing’s “Shirin in Love” is a brand-new film that features romance, Iranian culture through the eyes of different generations and a coming-of-age story. The film, written by Ramin Niami and starring Nazanin Boniadi (“Scandal,” “Homeland,” “How I Met Your Mother”), Riley Smith, (CW’s “90210″), comedians Maz Jobrani (Axis of Evil Comedy Tour, “Friday After Next”) and George Wallace and Amy Madigan, will be released in theaters March 14. If you’re a fan of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” then you might like “Shirin in Love,” which takes the viewer on a ride through one woman’s journey of self-discovery, not just to find who she is as a person, but [ Read More ]
The post Shirin in Love Has Romance Amid Culture Clashes and Self-Discovery appeared first on Shockya.com. »
Nazanin Boniadi is Shirin, an absent-minded, young Iranian-American living in "Tehrangeles" (the large Iranian community in Los Angeles) with her overbearing mother and empathetic father. Despite being engaged for years to a successful Iranian plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, Shirin finds herself breaking loyalty and tradition when she falls in love with a mysterious young man who lives in a lighthouse in northern California. As her secret unravels and cultures clash, Shirin discovers what it ultimately means to be true to herself. We have an exclusive clip from Shirin in Love. Watch as Shirin finds inspiration for her lagging writing career in a beautiful Northern California vineyard.
Shirin in Love comes to theaters March 14th, 2014 and stars Nazanin Boniadi, Riley Smith, Amy Madigan, Marshall Manesh, Maz Jobrani, Anita Khalatbari, Max Amini, George Wallace. The film is directed by Ramin Niami. »
While audiences are by now familiar with formulas and templates of romantic comedies, sometimes adding a cultural twist can keep things fresh, and certainly, that's what writer/director Ramin Niami is aiming for with "Shirin In Love." Featuring "Homeland" star Nazanin Boniadi (aka Fara Sherazi from season 3), she plays the titular Shirin, a young Iranian-American living in Los Angeles, long engaged to an Iranian plastic surgeon, who breaks the bonds of loyalty and tradition when she starts seeing another man, starting a culture clash. And in this clip from the film, Shirin is caught in bed shortly after her mysterious lover has left, much to the exasperation of her fiancé. Co-starring Riley Smith, Amy Madigan, Maz Jobrani and George Wallace, "Shirin In Love" opens on March 14th. Check out the clip and poster for the film below. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
5 items from 2014
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