Welcome to International Disruptors, a feature where we bring a spotlight to CEOs and companies outside the United States by moving the offshore marketplace. This week, the 75th edition of the Cannes Film Festival has just begun, we are talking to Enrique Costa and Maria Zamora, co-founders of the Spanish distribution and production banner Elastica Films. At just one year old, the company is already making waves in the independent sector. They told us about their first year at the company, their love of movies and how they made films that connected them to the audience.
At last year’s Par-Down Cannes Film Festival, Enrique Costa and Maria Zamora launched their new Spanish distribution-production banner, Elastica Films. The epidemic continues to wreak havoc on the theater business, and the market’s usual sense of urgency is significantly muted compared to the previous year.
But that didn’t stop the new costume from winning the title of the festival’s three best contests: Leox Caraxer AnnetteJoachim Trier’s Oscar-nominated The worst person in the world And Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Oscar winner Drive my car. The organization has also presented Freedom In Critics Week, a production of Zamora was involved with the pair’s former company Avalon, where they were both partners.
“We will always remember last year’s Cannes because it was the first time under our new label and it was such a good market for us,” Zamora told Deadline.
“It was really rewarding for us and it was a great first day to get rid of Elastica,” said Costa.
And the proof is in the pudding that indie titles are doing some tough business in Spanish theaters: Annette 45,000 were admitted (232,000); Drive my car More than 65,000 admissions (357,000); And The worst person in the world 250,000 admitted ($ 876,000). These were the encouraging numbers that put Spain in the top five markets for each of these festival favorites, sometimes losing even historically large markets like the United Kingdom. And all during an epidemic, nonetheless.
It was a bold move to launch a distribution strand while influencing the Covid-19 world, but for Costa, who manages that part of the business while Zamora manages the production side, it was perfectly understandable.
“I told Maria, this is the right moment because everything is terrible at the moment,” he said. The results were so bad that I thought if we had a movie that really, really works, we’d be there. “
The pair spent 17 years at Avalon, a Madrid-based production-distribution company, and set up Elastica in Valencia last year before leaving in good condition. With plenty of experience under their belts on both sides, it has felt a normal progress to branch out and try something new.
“We knew from the start what kind of project we wanted to buy and what kind of talent we wanted to be involved with,” Costa said. “Identifying where we want to work has been easy for us from the beginning and that means distributing and producing the films we want to see as viewers.”
The company targets its audience through social media and internet promotions, connecting with influential people who can reach more than newspaper reviews in the current climate.
“Social media is extremely important,” Costa said. “What the critics say and how they view the movie is important but at the same time, we now know what social media is saying about the film and how word of mouth spreads through things like Twitter and Instagram. We must start building these campaigns very soon. ”
Elastica was the main producer behind Berlinel’s Golden Bear winner Alcaras, Which it co-produced with Avalon. The project, which is director Carla Simon’s second film, follows the life of a family of peach farmers in a small village in Catalonia whose world changes when the owner of their huge property dies and decides to sell his lifelong inherited land, suddenly threatening their livelihood.
The film has been a huge hit in Spain since its release in late April, reaching over 250,000 theaters ($ 1.2M and counting) and making it the most successful Catalan film in over 10 years. Encouragingly, it was the older “gray-haired” punters who turned the movie into an audience that proved even more difficult for distributors around the world to return to theaters.
Elastica is built on the film’s Berlin conquest and launches the film’s Spanish premiere in Catalonia, inviting the Catalan president and culture minister to an outdoor event, choosing a green carpet instead of red – a tribute to agriculture and rural life. In remote areas of the region that are now becoming extinct because large corporations have moved to land.
“What we did was really special with that premiere,” Zamora said. “It was very emotional. We put all these different personalities together and we brought the movie closer to the audience – they felt a part of it.”
For Zamora, Alcaras Elastica is a perfect example of the kind of production they want in their books – smart and moving personal stories that have something to say to global audiences.
“I’m looking for directors and stories that have a different angle or a special look or a story that looks at something important that we’re forced to tell,” Zamora said. “I always try to find things that are in our society and what people are talking about, but we can communicate from a different angle and bring the audience to light in a way that has never been seen before.”
Zamora has a passion for supporting first-time filmmakers, many of whom are women, and has made 10 films with directors for the first time so far.
“I love making debut films and discovering new talent,” she says. “It’s something I’ve done and will continue to do for many years. At the same time, I am building relationships with experienced managers. ”
The elastic development slate contains: Simon’s third feature Pilgrimage; Mothers don’t From Mar Coll; Of Jaione Camborda Rye Horn; And Elena Martin Gimenor Creatures. It is also evolving Red Madonna Paula Oritz with Amazon and has a host of TV projects in the very early stages.
The company is also making its debut under the direction of Spanish actress Marta Nieto with the story of a transgender boy and his relationship with his mother. “It was important that we tell this story from a mother’s perspective,” Zamora said. “It’s an angle I don’t think we’ve seen before.”
In addition, it is working on the debut of Alvaro Gago MatterThe director who won the Grand Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival in 2018 for his short film of the same name.
Early this year, Elastica is set to become active with Costa and admits it has overseen several projects that look like a very saturated-package market. The company’s three projects are premiering at the festival. There Water From Elena Lopez Rira, director of Fortnite, which Costa described as a “very powerful film.” Elastica is distributing the title with Spanish VOD platform Filmin, where it will go after a theatrical release.
It is also on top of French helmer Mia Hanson-Loves One fine morning, Also screening at Directors Fortnite. Costa has worked at Hanson-Loves Bergman Island While he was in Avalon and continuing that relationship with Elastica.
The company had earlier won the Cannes competition The triangle of sorrow From Swedish director Ruben Ostlund, another relationship was born from Avalon when the pair worked under the title Helmer. Square.
Zamora is going to spend her Cannes Film Festival watching a lot of movies as the producer is part of the Critics Week jury this year.
Going forward, Costa and Zamora say they have no plans to grow too fast, preferring to take the process organically and thoughtfully.
Zamora noted that many producers have a pattern of bulk up their slate and take on multiple projects simultaneously, focusing on increasing global production and the appetite of local and global streamers.
“It’s very tempting for producers right now because there’s a lot of production going on all the time,” he says. “It can be crazy, but the way I work with the directors is a lot more handicraft. We have to build things very slowly and take our time. “
Costa agrees that he likes to think of elastica as a big slow cooker. “As a distributor, we also have to take time. We see how the film goes, grows slowly and we have to stay close to it and nurture it. Of course, we want to keep Elastica in good shape, but our goal is not to make five features and three series a year and distribute 20 films per year. It’s not about volume, it’s about quality. “
He added, “We are old school. We’ve fallen in love with movies, and we believe movies will stay here. It is still the most important window in the life of a movie. So, we’re going to focus on getting involved with the movies that we can bring to the movies and movies that a viewer wants to be part of. We will continue to look for new talent so that we can bring their films to the audience and give them a chance to make their careers easier. ”
This week’s edition of International Disruptors presented by Guillotine Vodka.