An “eye-opener” is how producer Dondon Monteverde describes his Cannes experience.
Monteverde and filmmaker Erik Matti, his partner in the production firm Reality Entertainment, attended the international film festival last month where their movie, “On the Job,” was screened in the Directors’ Fortnight section.
They also participated in the Marche du Film, the festival market, to sell local movies, buy foreign content and touch base with other industry professionals.
“We had three to four meetings a day during our two weeks there,” recalls Monteverde.
At the Cannes market, they sealed two deals worth a total of P12-million with Wild Side and Well Go USA for the French and North American distribution of “On the Job.”
While in Cannes, they likewise met with representatives from top Hollywood firm, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), led by John Garvey. “CAA reps watched ‘On the Job’ and liked what they saw,” Monteverde notes.
“On the Job” will open in local theaters on Aug. 28. Reality’s next project is a collaboration with “On the Job” coproducer, Star Cinema, an action-drama with John Lloyd Cruz.
Back in Manila, Monteverde and Matti had a series of Skype meetings with the CAA reps based in Los Angeles.
After two weeks of online conferences, Matti recounts, they signed a deal with CAA, as a “director-producer” tandem.
CAA is the same agency that represents Oscar winners Steven Spielberg and Ang Lee, box-office directors Jerry Bruckheimer and Christopher Nolan and A-list actors Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep.
“We want to try our luck there (Hollywood),” Matti says.
“Since Reality Entertainment is a multimedia company, the CAA deal will give us opportunities to collaborate with Hollywood companies and talents,” Monteverde explains.
Apart from Reality, the duo is involved in advertising (Revolver), post-production (Post Manila) and computer-generated imagery (Mother Ship).
“Mother Ship did the CGI for ‘Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles’ and now, we’re doing the special effects for the Ai-Ai de las Alas-Marian Rivera movie ‘Kung-Fu Divas,’” says Monteverde.
Last March, Matti and Monteverde attended the Hong Kong International Film and TV Market (Filmart), another important industry event.
Reality got to close distribution deals for four foreign films—two from Hollywood (“Before Midnight,” “The Butler”) and two from Korea (CJ Entertainment’s “Pororo” and Showbox’s “Mr. Go”).
For their initial distribution ventures, Reality clinched local rights for the four films across all platforms—“including DVD, free and cable TV.”
Monteverde believes “Before Midnight,” which will open locally on July 3, will do well in the country because it already has a loyal following. “It’s the third part in a series that has registered huge DVD sales.”
Acquiring these top-caliber films, Monteverde says, is part of the globalization efforts of Reality Entertainment.