ON THE BLOG: Kaleidoscope Entertainment on Selective Distribution funding

Who should apply for funding through the Selective Distribution scheme and what’s the benefit of doing so? Robert Leather, Marketing Manager at Kaleidoscope Entertainment, which recently received support from the scheme to release Italian thriller Suburra in partnership with Curzon Cinemas and their home cinema channel, tells us.

Tell us about your company…

"Kaleidoscope is an established independent UK distributor and international sales agent. We work across all genres with 8 to10 theatrical releases each year and up to another 100 titles per year released straight to DVD/digital. 

We employ 20 members of staff across both divisions, just enough to ensure that we can manage all aspects of distribution in-house and that we can maintain direct relationships with all cinemas, retailers, platforms and broadcasters. Via our international arm, we acquire, finance and develop film properties with significant global appeal."

Why did you apply for Creative Europe’s Selective Distribution scheme?

"Creative Europe offers a great funding scheme, which is specifically tailored to support independent European film, it’s kind of like the BFI but for Europe. We applied knowing we had an eligible film for release in the UK and that receiving the grant would allow us to deliver a campaign the film deserved."

Can you tell us a bit about the process of applying? What’s your advice to potential applicants?

"My advice would be read the fine print! It’s easy to be excited about your film and receiving funding, but make sure you hit the deadlines for each stage of the application and know the constraints like the back of your hand."

What has this grant allowed you to do that might not have been possible otherwise? Why is that important?

"The grant certainly gave us the scope to create a larger and more impactful campaign which the film really deserved. Suburra was not without its challenges, being a foreign language film with a very hard-hitting story line, but what the grant allowed us to do is to focus our efforts and develop a tailored campaign to create new marketing materials that would really cut through and identify with a UK audience.

In addition, the grant enabled us to bring the director and cast to the UK for special screening and Q&A, which was part of our wider collaboration with Curzon Cinemas, the visit also included a press junket, providing valuable exposure to the film, which we may not have had otherwise. I think without the grant, the campaign would have had a lot more constraints and ultimately would have made the release a lot harder to cut through to the key cinema audiences here in UK."

What’s your favourite European film of 2016?

"2016 has offered some great European cinema and shows no signs of slowing down in 2017! It’s really encouraging to see so much strong filmmaking being brought to the UK by a range of distributors, big and small.

It wouldn’t be fair for me to name Suburra having worked on the campaign and to name just one is tough… My top three would be Victoria, Julieta and Mustang, I feel they all offered cinema goers a different kind of cinematic experience at their time of release and offered diverse filmmaking with strong female leads. The films had cut-through campaigns and in my opinion really showcased what Europe has to offer outside of the special effects and big budgets."

  The latest call for Selective Distribution is currently open with two deadlines of 1 December 2016 and 14 June 2017. Find out more about the scheme on our website and contact us for advice.

Image: Kaleidoscope Entertainment received support through the Selective Distribution scheme to release Suburra by Stefano Sollima in the UK.