CANNES Q&A: ANDREA IERVOLINO AND MONIKA BACARDI
How important is Cannes for you and your business?
We are a multifaceted company operating in many sectors within the movie industry as a whole. As such, the importance of Cannes, and the opportunities it provides as a platform for art and commerce, cannot be overstated. We are very active producers and also have a robust global sales operation, so Cannes naturally presents tremendous value for us because many business goals can be achieved over the course of a week and a half. It’s a festival and market we simply must attend.
What other markets and/or festivals do you attend?
Our level of activity dictates that we move at a very fast pace and there is never a time when we are not busy working on our film slate. This translates into a hectic travel schedule that sees us at all the major stops on the circuit – Toronto, Berlin, AFM, Venice, Dubai, Tribeca, etc. as well as numerous trips to and throughout Europe and Asia –, namely China of late.
What type of product is in demand currently? What are the films you think work best today?
With more content available today than at any point in history, it’s important to make distinct films that: play to a defined audience; tell amazing stories, worthy of a cinematic experience; and are of the best quality and pedigree. It’s a daunting task but we’ve worked very hard to create a slate of films – all in various stages of development, production and release –, that we feel meet our own stringent criteria and are eager to share them with the world.
What is your mission in Cannes?
A key mission at any film market is doing robust sales and we have an amazing slate that will attract a lot of attention from international buyers. This includes Black Butterfly starring Antonio Banderas; To the Bone starring Keanu Reeves; James Franco’s In Dubious Battle; the romantic comedy musical Basmati Blues starring Brie Larson; the 3D CGI family animated film Arctic Justice: Thunder Squad; the sci-fi thriller Rupture; the psychological thriller Lavender, and quite a few more!
How was the past year in business for you/or what was your objective?
We’re extremely pleased with the business and the execution of our long-term blueprint for growth and expansion. Every year sees us with more on our plate than the year before! We’ve really grown in every way possible. Our objective has been to grow into one of the leading financiers and producers of movies across the studio and independent landscapes, and we feel we have done that this year. We have the necessary assets to source the best projects and material, as well as collaborate with various partners around the world to build a very compelling slate.
What are your goals for the coming year? What is the focus of your company?
Our ultimate goal is to mold Ambi into a formidable mini major studio with a pipeline of high quality commercial movies that will be attractive on a global scale. The old studio model is antiquated and fractured in several key areas. We are exploring a new, modern, studio model that reflects the advancements in technology and allows for greater efficiencies in the making and distribution of movies globally.
How many Cannes have you attended?
It’s hard to believe, but Ambi is only a 3-year-old company. This is the third Cannes for Ambi as a company, but we (Andrea and Monika) have personally attended many times in the past.
Best Cannes film ever?
The best is yet to come. The next Ambi film in Cannes will be the best Cannes film ever!
Worst Cannes film ever?
The worst ones were immediately erased from our memory.
Biggest gripe on the Riviera?
Simply getting around – navigating a busy meeting, screening and event schedule. Crowds are maddening and cars are slow. Walking or driving is picking a poison. In the end, we all manage to get from point A to point B, and if you get the result you want, the aggravation tied to how you arrived is magically forgotten very soon thereafter. Liza Foreman