The New House of Film on The Block

From IF Magazine Novemeber 5, 2009

One of the newer companies at the market this year was HOUSE OF FILM run by its president Ava B. “We have a different distribution model,” she admits. “There is not enough money in traditional distribution. So you have to supplement that and you have to find other ways to do that. The traditional doesn’t work any longer and the new one isn’t working yet. There is confusion and chaos. The income from the movies, the monetizing of the movies, is becoming difficult. Watching how things go, and what works and what doesn’t work, we put together a fusion model of independents that optimizes revues from the content. It depends on how strong the movie is. We start at the top with traditional levels, then we go down to TV levels, and supplement with additional revenue streams if the film is strong enough to substantiate from sponsorships. Advertising is at the same place as film distribution. Traditional advertising doesn’t work any longer, so they’re looking for new creative ways of advertising. We are also looking for content and development to already work in the script process for product integration. So that’s the future.”

While some cited AFM as slow this year, Ava B notes that business has been booming, in part due to the selection of films that have for sale.

“We don’t have genre restrictions, but whatever we pick up has to be highest standard and aesthetics,” she says. “We advertise the film as ‘all things beautiful.’ It can be the beauty of the form and shape and the beauty of the soul – spiritual content. As we are aiming to cater to high-end advertisers and sponsorships. So we want to be a company where buyers come to House of film, the movie is just beautiful. It can be a horror movie or a high-end art house movie, but the vision is creative. And all our movies have an exceptional quality and one of our first movies we came out with is being considered for an Oscar. It’s SUNRISE/SUNSET. It’s 24 hours with the Dalai Lama, made with one of the most iconic European filmmakers. It transcends the genre this documentary.”

The untraditional way of looking at sales, extends to the risk the company took on a short film called RAIN.

“It’s stunning,” she says. “Most of our prestige buyers said ‘we don’t’ do shorts,’ and I said ‘I don’t do shorts either,’ but what happens is, they look at it and are mesmerized by the piece. They’re thinking in the U.K. of renting a whole traditional theater for it and making a screening of it 2010. It’s everything I would love this company to be about.”

And while many companies are looking to acquire large libraries, Ava B says she’s doing the opposite.

“We’re picking up very select few titles, and it has to be quality,” she says. “I think there must be a place for quality. They want to help us and associated with us. I don’t feel ashamed, yes, the name of this company, it’s not for everybody.”