A creative strategist who excels at working interdependently with filmmakers, Marina Cordoni‘s experience spans two decades of high-level international sales, including rights negotiations with content buyers; from theatrical, broadcast and digital platforms, to working with film financiers, government agencies, and sponsorship investors. At her company MCE Inc, she focuses on providing development, production and sales agency services to the independent film community.
Marina’s most recent Executive Producer credits include Jason Priestley’s feature directorial debut: Cas and Dylan (starring Richard Dreyfuss and Tatiana Maslany) the critically acclaimed genre films Antisocial and Antisocial 2. She is currently developing the sci-fi film South of Hope Street (directed by Jane Spencer, with whom she previously worked on The Ninth Cloud) and in post-production of the dark thriller The Bequest (directed by Jeff Kopas) and the comedy First Round Down (directed by Brett M. Butler and Jason G. Butler).
Marina mentored #FromOurDarkSide recipient Gloria Ui Young Kim and will rejoin the mentorship program in 2016.
We spoke with Marina about what genre means to her.
Why is genre important?
Genre is important when it comes to the commercial viability of a film. There are broader audiences for certain genres. Horror and Sci-Fi have built-in audiences. It is easier for the gatekeepers of the content sale to project sales and thus revenue streams. An opposite example of this would be the horror-comedy genre, which unless coupled with A-List stars, can be hit or miss outside of its home country. Comedy is in the ear of the beholder, and does not often translate well in foreign countries.
How did you get started in genre?
Genre is a part of my repertoire as a producer and sales agent. I have always focused on the quality of the story, writing and the talent of the filmmakers to bring their vision to life. I started by meeting some genre filmmakers and recognizing they had a commitment to telling stories that were not just run-of-the mill slasher films, but storylines that had thriller aspects to it, coupled with enormous (physical) danger.
Why do you stay with genre?
First off, it has a built in audience. I am in the entertainment “business,” which means commercial viability + proof of concept + talent + originality is important in order to sell the product. On a personal note, I recall seeing The Omen as a child and not getting much sleep for weeks afterwards! What scares me impresses me. Rather than run away from the fear, I embrace it now. And do so visually!
Why are you involved with this contest?
I love to mentor (as much as my schedule allows). The building of my career has been a very tough road, a lot of sacrifices, sweat and tears along the way. I have learned so much, and am passionate about passing this knowledge along.
Who are some of the filmmakers or artists who inspire you?
I have to admit, I don’t have favourites. I am inspired by everyone out there making a living at making movies! But if I had to choose…. the indie filmmakers of the 90s were it for me… lower budgets, high creative content, truly cooperative filmmaking at its best.
Q&A by Katja De Bock
For more information on the #FromOurDarkSide genre concept contest and mentorship program, click here. Submission deadline ends January 4, 2016.