Natacha Kaganski has joined Luxbox as festivals and acquisitions manager and Solène Colomer has been named sales & marketing coordinator.
Previously, Kaganski spent four years as acquisitions manager at Wild Bunch, where she handled deals for the French and international market as well as coordination for multi-territories deals with the Wild Bunch group, such as Germany, Spain and Italy.
She was involved in films likeVenice winner “Happening” by Audrey Diwan, Gaspar Noé’s “Vortex” or “Leila’s Brothers,” also taking part in first Wild Bunch productions.
Solène Colomer has one year of experience assisting the sales and production teams at Urban Group under her belt. She was involved in “Plan 75” by Chie Hayakawa and “If Only I Could Hibernate” by Zoljargal Purevdash which, as reported by Variety, has already made history in Cannes.
They complete the already existing team with president Fiorella Moretti and Jennyfer Gautier, head of international sales.
“Personally, I enjoy working with women. A lot. But it has never been a rule,” says Moretti, admitting she has a “very good feeling” about the new team.
“We have been working together just for a few weeks and I feel there is a great dynamic and dialogue in the office. There is fantastic energy!”
Luxbox has been busy at the French festival, presenting two films in the Directors’ Fortnight section: “Creatura” by Elena Martín Gimeno: a film about “feminine desire and taboos,” notes Kaganski, also highlighting a “delicate portrait of the Portuguese working class” in “Légua,” by Filipa Reis and João Miller Guerra.
“We are sure this beautiful story about solidarity will resonate with the audience,” adds Gautier.
The company has also brought the restored version of Manoel de Oliveira’s “Abraham’s Valley,” launching the sales of 13 films by the celebrated director.
“After having the honor of handling the complete catalogue of Béla Tarr, we decided to explore working with classic films. These are the filmmakers I admire so much, which makes it a unique experience,” notes Moretti, with Kaganski adding:
“In a market that’s getting more and more competitive and is constantly changing, it’s important to strengthen our catalogue with classic films. Conservation and restoration of cinematic treasures is among our missions for the future.”
Finally, the company has presented first images of Mohamed Ben Attia’s “Behind the Mountains” and “Critical Zone” by Ali Ahmadzadeh, teasing upcoming “Puan” by María Alche and Benjamín Naishtat, Felipe Carmona’s “Penal Cordillera” and Carolina Markowicz’s “Toll.”
With Moretti listing the Joan of Arc diptych by Bruno Dumont among the team’s “biggest professional satisfactions” – “We are sure they will have an important place in the history of cinema,” she says. Handling first feature films by Jonas Carpignano and Ben Attia was also important.
“First films were among our big commercial successes, from Manuela Martelli’s ‘1976’ [also known as ‘Chile ‘76’] to ‘20,000 Species of Bees’ by Estibaliz Urresola, ‘Clara Sola’ by Nathalie Alvarez Mesen, ‘Song Without a Name’ by Melina Leon and ‘The Heiresses’ by Marcelo Martinessi. Still, my biggest satisfaction has to do with remaining free in our choices.”
Luxbox has also served as co-producer on another Cannes title, Lisandro Alonso’s “Eureka.” But, as pointed out by Kaganski, there are more things to come.
“We will continue to reveal and support new directors and new voices of international cinema, with already eight films [slated] to come in 2023 and 2024,” she states.
“Even in France, where there are many public grants, the system is not self-sustainable anymore. Recent budget cuts [experienced by] Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival prove that supporting independent cinema is a battle.”
While Gautier notes that “strengthening the company’s links with French producers” will be another priority, flexibility is key.
“Audiences are not quite back to theaters yet and the audiovisual and cinematographic landscape has changed a lot over the last few years. Distributors are more and more careful with the films they pick, so we feel we need to constantly reinvent our model,” she adds.
As well as surprising viewers with “daring and bold films,” says Colomer.
“They need to see things they have never seen before.”
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