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Auditorium Films

Author: Auditorium Films

A French distribution company for international TV-content, specialised in arts and music programming.

  • Empreintes Massaï  | Copyright: © Momboye©24 images

    Empreintes Massaï © Momboye©24 images

  • CEO Reza Ackbaraly | Copyright: © Anne Flore Trichilo

    CEO Reza Ackbaraly © Anne Flore Trichilo

  • Natalie Gomez, International Sales | Copyright: © Anne Flore Trichilo

    Natalie Gomez, International Sales © Anne Flore Trichilo

  • Iggy Pop at Rock en Seine | Copyright: © Sombrero and Co

    Iggy Pop at Rock en Seine © Sombrero and Co

  • Nina Simone at Montreux Jazz Festival | Copyright: © La Blogothèque

    Nina Simone at Montreux Jazz Festival © La Blogothèque

The IMZ is now joined by Auditorium Films, an international TV-content distribution company, specialised in arts and music programming, founded in 2015. Get to know their business in this interview with CEO and founder Reza Ackbaraly.

Reza, welcome to the IMZ! Please tell us about Auditorium Films.
Reza Ackbaraly: Thank you! We are happy to be a member now. I was Head of Jazz & World division at the pay-TV channel Mezzo, when in 2015 I decided to start with my own company. At Auditorium Films our focus is on jazz and world music, but we also represent pop, rock, and classical music titles as well as filmed dance in the biggest festivals and venues around the world such as: Théâtre National de Chaillot, la Philharmonie de Paris, Teatro Real, Maison de la Danse de Lyon, Rock en Seine, Les Vieilles Charrues, Paléo, Montréal Jazz festival, Chorégies d’Orange, Montreux Jazz Festival and many more.

What are your current programme highlights?
RA: We’re glad to present the official documentary celebrating the Montreux Jazz Festival’s 50th anniversary “More Than Jazz”, the documentary “A Portrait of Esbjörn Svensson” about the world renowned jazz pianist, Iggy Pop live at Rock en Seine, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, at the Sainte Chapelle with the Children’s Choir of the Paris National Opera, and Gregory Porter live at the Montréal Jazz Festival, just to name a few.

What is your distribution strategy?
RA: As a French company working with a dozen French producers we are fortunate to have prolific audiovisual productions thanks to available government support. With this in mind we see ourselves as carrying out a public service with the diversity of programs in our fast-growing catalogue of 650 titles. We offer a wide choice of live concerts and documentaries in full native HD or 4K with worldwide rights including upcoming programs available for prebuys and coproductions.

How do you position yourself as a distributor of various genres with a focus on jazz and world music?
RA: ECM is a good example of a label that mixes classical, jazz and traditional music, with almost 50 years of existence, being very respected and followed by music lovers. We also believe that television can manage to promote less popular genres by adding fresh programmes to the market and surprising their audience along the way!
We understand that jazz is quite a niche, but there are wonderful stories to tell that can touch people in various ways – our documentary celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Montreux Jazz Festival is a good example of that. We hope to bring in our expertise in the field and to be able to showcase success stories such as Gregory Porter having sold over a million albums, Snarky Puppy with almost 8 million views on YouTube or even Kamasi Washington who arranged strings and played saxophone on Kendrick Lamar’s ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’ which sold around 600,000 copies in three months. Between myself and Natalie Gomez who is in charge of international sales with a classical music background as well, we believe that we can do just that and be helpful to other IMZ Members who don’t necessarily have this overview on the mainstream market.

What motivated you to become an IMZ Member?
RA: We decided to become an IMZ Member for networking purposes and to be able to connect with the people we deal with. We have already been able to make valuable contacts and look forward to making more. Avant Première’s reputation as a top market with top buyers was pivotal in our choice to become a member. We are sure that many broadcasters look to reach their audience with the most curated programming, with the best artists and festivals around the world, and we would like to be helpful here. Last but not least, being an IMZ Member allows us to stay in the loop about top quality arts and music programmes and we enjoy using the IMZ Member Directory.

You will attend Avant Première 2017! What are we to expect from you?
RA: Yes, I will attend as well as Natalie Gomez in charge of international sales. We look forward to presenting a screening at the Avant Première Screenings for the first time and are very glad for this opportunity to showcase some of our programmes. Being well aware that our content - mostly jazz, world music and dance - is minimally represented and that channels tend to focus on other genres, we are excited to be able to add diversity to the market and get some feedback. One way we’ve been doing so is by offering music compilation CDs with some of our favourites that have been greatly appreciated.

How, do you think, will audiences consume music in the future?
RA: Netflix is certainly changing the audiovisual world with people wanting to see what they want, where they want and when they want it. But since the free offer on the internet is so huge we are convinced that curation is key. Loyal audiences would be glad to find their favourite venues on the screen. However, content providers need to be aware of dealing with the rights and protecting their content against piracy.

Thank you!

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