EXCLUSIVE: As worldwide delegates contact down on the Croisette for what looks like the primary “actual” Cannes market for the reason that pandemic struck, Olivier Albou is on the point of hit the bottom operating. The veteran exec, who heads up gross sales and manufacturing home Other Angle together with his spouse Laurence Schonberg, has 4 new movies on his slate this yr that he’s providing as much as worldwide consumers.

The firm will likely be exhibiting footage for Mélanie Auffret’s Sweet Little Things (Les Petites Victoires), starring Julia Piaton and Michel Blanc, a few busy younger instructor who’s confronted with the problem of a brand new scholar in her class – an explosive 60-year-old man who has lastly determined to study to learn and write. Then there’s Jennifer Devoldère’s male midwife characteristic The Midwife (Sage Homme) starring Karin Viard and Melvin Boomer in addition to Jonathan Barré’s Serial Driver (Bonne Conduit) starring Call My Agent’s Laure Calamy, Nicolas Marrié and Grégoire Ludig a few feminine psychologist who waits for the driving force who killed her husband to get out of jail to avenge him.

Other Angle can be bringing Bérénice Béjo, Elodie Bouchez and Emilie Caen starrer Hawaii, directed by Melissa Driegeard, to market. Story follows 9 mates who, when on their annual journey to Hawaii, consider their final moments are upon them following a nuclear assault alert. Hidden truths and resentment begin to resurface, and their pleasant annual assembly quickly turns right into a shouting match.

The widespread thread between every of those tasks is they’re all French comedies and it’s a style that Other Angle has been quietly excelling at since its inception in 2008.

“We are a small household enterprise and once we began, we knew we couldn’t compete with the well-established, pageant and awards-driven French gross sales brokers like Wild Bunch, Memento or Celluloid Dreams and on the time, nobody was touching the French comedies, so we determined we had been going to take that spot,” Albou tells Deadline. “People thought French comedies wouldn’t journey and the worldwide neighborhood wouldn’t be concerned with tacky French humor. But fortunately we had been proper in our choice to ascertain ourselves on this style as a result of yearly for the final 15 years we’ve had not less than one or two escape and journey around the globe, both by authentic movies or remakes. So, that is actually our model now.”

Sweet Little Things
Stephanie Branchu

Albou has been within the enterprise for greater than 25 years. After leaving esteemed French enterprise faculty HEC to pursue his ardour in movie, the exec has labored throughout a raft of main firms within the business. He had a stint at French broadcaster M6 and spent 5 years in gross sales at UGC International the place he bought Audrey Tautou starrer Amelie, which went on to develop into a worldwide sensation. He additionally labored in worldwide theatrical distribution for Warner Bros. in Burbank, California.

Taking this wealth of gross sales and acquisition information from huge firms, he and his spouse established indie label Other Angle to harness French titles that might have robust native affect. The firm struck offers with Orange Films and Mars Films to accumulate and promote titles for them. Other Angle’s first title, La Première Étoile, a comedy a few father who take their children on a ski trip, had a couple of million admissions by way of Mars Films in its first few weeks of launch in France. Shortly after, the corporate boarded gross sales for Cannes Directors’ Fortnight title The French Kissers (Les Beaux Gosses) which additionally went on to develop into an area success.

“The first yr actually established us as a specialist of French unbiased comedies and it was on objective,” says Albou.

Since then, the corporate has grown from energy to energy within the industrial comedy area with simply Albou and Schonberg holding the reins. It was additionally behind 2012 title On The Other Side Of The Tracks with Omar Sy, recent off his breakout position in Intouchables. The title spawned a sequel for Netflix, dubbed The Takedown, which was launched on the service May 6.

“It turned our greatest sale ever,” recollects Albou of the action-comedy, which sees street-smart cop Sy and a strait-laced officer (Laurent Lafitte) unite to resolve the homicide of a businessman’s spouse. “We bought it worldwide and to the Weinstein Company within the U.S. and to distributors like Senator and Medusa. It actually introduced us to the subsequent degree.”

On The Other Side Of The Tracks earned greater than two million admissions in France, cementing Other Angle’s place within the French comedy area. Then, in 2014, Other Angle bought Philippe Lacheau hit comedy Babysitters earlier than it bought remake rights to Universal in Germany.

In addition to gross sales, the corporate has produced a handful of movies starting from its first manufacturing Italian drama Misunderstood in 2014 to final yr’s Jean-Claude Van Damme action-comedy The Last Mercenary, which bought to Netflix. That title, along with comedy Spoiled Brats, had been among the many most profitable non-English language titles on the streaming service with greater than 50 million views every worldwide.

“Every yr we attempt to have like two or three critical movies when it comes to topic issues,” Albou says, pointing to this yr’s title Simone, A Woman Of The Century a biopic on outstanding French determine Simone Veil, which he’s additionally promoting Cannes. “But I additionally do suppose comedy is a critical factor. We additionally attempt to do one or two English-language films a yr.”

The Midwife
Other Angle

For Albou, relationships are vital, and he and Schonberg are cautious about who they work with. They’ve carried out repeat enterprise with Marvelous Productions – the outfit behind Simone and Hawaii – for the reason that firm’s inception they usually had a long-standing relationship with Mars Films earlier than it exited the distribution enviornment. Additionally, Other Angle has labored a number of occasions with manufacturing home Les Films Du Cap, most just lately on titles The Butcher’s Daughter and Valliant Hearts.

“Making a movie is a protracted course of and in the event you’re going to share this journey you need to have good folks round you,” says Albou.

As is more and more changing into extra evident within the worldwide gross sales sphere, Other Angle, regardless of being an indie label with simply two full-time members or workers, has the clout to step in at an early stage and produce finance to the desk. Albou says the corporate is supplied to financing minimal ensures so producers can shut financing and may also assist facilitate with French co-productions and pre-sales.

Recently, Other Angle led a showcase of French comedies on the Fine Arts Theater in Beverly Hills, dubbed The French Comedy Club. The thought behind the initiative was to generate enterprise for French comedies, together with by way of remakes and acquisitions, and to extend consciousness of French style titles for the business and normal public.

The occasion, says Albou, was an enormous success and there are plans to introduce a second version subsequent yr. “There is an viewers there who get pleasure from these movies, however they only don’t get an opportunity to see them within the cinemas,” he says.

In addition to promoting his slate of titles on the Cannes market this yr, Albou will likely be actively making an attempt to take advantage of remake rights to the corporate’s library of commercially profitable style titles and he’s cautiously optimistic of what lies forward.

“I don’t know what’s going to occur subsequent yr,” he says. “Our firm is fragile and small and it’s a household enterprise so there’s at all times uncertainty of the longer term, however that is the character of the unbiased movie enterprise. You have a movie that may kill you. You have a movie that may prevent. We’re making an attempt to watch out and calculated. We are going through fierce competitors from individuals who have far more cash and assets than we achieve this we should be sensible, and we should be good about {our relationships}.”

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