3 AGO 2020

FRANCESCA MANNO: “FILMMAKERS AND PRODUCERS CAN COUNT ON A THOROUGH DISTRIBUTION”

The CEO and Managing Director of Summerside International talked about the present of the company, its main titles, and the new strategies created in the pandemic period.

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Francesca Manno, Summerside International’s CEO and Managing Director

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Summerside International, global arm of Summerside Media, is a Rome and Lecce based film company acting as an intermediary agent for producers and offering a persistently renewed slate of films from all over the world. “Summerside’s lineup includes art-house, director-driven, awarded titles, commercial, genre, features, documentaries, regularly selected at both European and worldwide festivals," said Francesca Manno, CEO and Managing Director of Summerside International, to Señal News.

Summerside International markets content to leading distributors, aggregators, over-the-top (OTT) channels, airlines, across multiple platforms and devices, showcasing the most recent acquisitions, as well as library content, in the top markets all over the world, such as EFM in Berlin, FilmArt in Hong Kong, MIPTV, Marché du Film in Cannes, NATPE, Venice International Film Festival, Mipcom, MIA, American Film Market.

"Filmmakers and producers can count on a thorough distribution and sales expertise as well as on an extensive network of contacts across all sectors of the industry. The mission of Summerside International is to create a place where innovative directorial talents and their visions can be discovered and promoted to distributors and broadcasters throughout the world, as the finest authors in international cinema,"  the executive commented . 

Currently, Summerside is working on a slate of European films like "Love Me Tender," directed by Klaudia Reynicke (Switzerland) a title selected by the most important film festivals in the world after its Locarno premiere (TIFF, BFI, Seville FF, AFI Fest, Tallinn, Athens); "The Son," directed by Ines Tanović (a Bosnia and Herzegovina/Croatia/Romania/Slovenia/Montenegro coproduction); "Art For Change," directed by Claudio Esposito an original docu-series, 4 episodes of 26 minutes each on art in the marginal areas of Italian cities (Rome, Palermo, Bari, Madrid); "Amalaterra," a documentary directed by Gabriele Greco on the Xylella bacterium disease infecting all the olive trees in Salento and Apulia; and "Rock The World" a music doc by Federico Giannace on Ska and reggae international scene.

LIVING WITH THE COVID

Manno has recognized that due to the pandemic, the company had to stop its new projects in their development stage“We had to keep on working on the ‘ready for delivery’ contents, promoting our feature films and documentaries slate,” she asserted, although she also added that expects to return to shoot in Autumn.

On the distribution side, Summerside International has decided to launch a “DEJAVU,” a collection that includes films from the past years awarded in festivals and available for a second window exploitation. 

About the main demands of the clients nowadays, the CEO of the company affirmed that the clients are mainly looking for good content (ready for delivery) for TV (primetime) and SVOD. “We talk of thriller, action, romcom, family and animation titles. Not many dramas, right now”.

THINKING ABOUT THE FUTURE

“I believe that ‘new normal’ after Covid 19 will not only affect the audiovisual sector but our daily life. Our freedom has been put on hold. Covid-19 changed the way of doing business in all sectors of work. We have to re-think our business model, our production practices, our promotion strategies, and the way to interact with colleagues, employees, and clients,” she declared.

Manno asserted that digital markets and online festival editions are the “new normal” today. “I miss my old ‘normal’ job, I miss meeting people from all over the world and talking with my clients of life before talking about business. That’s hard in a digital room. And I cannot even explain how much I miss screening a film in a normal way in an old-style cinema,” she commented.

As a conclusion, the Summerside International managing director said: “I believe that stories make the difference. Storytelling and also new direction trends will help the industry. We don’t know if a second wave of Covid 19 will arrive in Autumn, hopefully not, but we need content and we have to produce stories. Innovative visions and innovative directions and productions will help our system to keep our business safe,” she affirmed.

By Romina Rodríguez

The mission of Summerside International is to create a place where innovative directorial talents and their visions can be discovered and promoted to distributors and broadcasters throughout the world, as the finest authors in international cinema” Francesca Manno CEO and Managing Director of Summerside International