September 18, 2008
The key to working as a distributor in a small country is to know your market, says Oskars Killo, a distributor for Riga-based SIA Acme Film in Latvia.
“In Latvia the same principles work as everywhere else — majors have the biggest box office with family films, action and comedy — so we do niche and art films and also mainstream (genre): Horror films almost always work for us,” Killo says.
Working mainly with foreign product acquired by Lithuania-based parent company UAB Acme, Killo concentrates mostly on smaller indie and festival films.
Good relations with French and other licensors and U.S. companies that include Lionsgate, Summit and Lakeshore give Acme access to American product such as “The Strangers” and “Nim’s Island.”
Although Acme mainly works with foreign films, Killo will release a locally made family comedy, “Mazie Laupitaji” (Little Robbers), next year.
With a small domestic industry, there are few opportunities for international distribution of local product, although that could change, he says: The national film center is working with Estonia and Lithuania via the Baltic Films platform and actively promoting pics.
“I see opportunities and growth in Latvian filmmaking — recently some local films had good response at many international festivals,” he says.