The Open Reel
The Open Reel (Italy) – Sales Agency
The Open Reel was founded in 2012 as an International Sales Agency, aiming to support and develop independent cinema on an international level. The agency wanted to enlarge the visibility of those independents productions not supported by a staff devoted to develop their circulation and their positioning to festivals, events and sales. Over these years The Open Reel has confirmed its principal vocation in promoting arthouse cinema accompanying established and emerging filmmakers to many important festivals around the world. In less than one year from its foundation, in 2013 The Open Reel won the Sebastiane Latino Award with Quebranto by Roberto Fiesco (which got also three awards in Guadalajara) at the San Sebastian International Film Festival, and one year later, at the same festival, The Open Reel presented its first feature film: The Silly Ones and the Stupid Ones by Roberto Caston in the New Directors Competition. In 2014, the Italian feature film And Then Was evening and Then Was Morning by Emanuele Caruso won as Best Independent Italian Movie of the Year. The Open Reel attended the Locarno Film Festival in 2014 with A Young Poet by Damien Manivel (Filmmakers of the Present), and with White Nights on the Pier by Paul Vecchiali. Then again in 2016, with Il nido by Klaudia Reynicke (Filmmakers of the Present), in 2017 with Gotthard, One Life, One Soul by Kevin Merz (Piazza Grande), and in 2018 with Sunburn by Vicente Alves do Ó, as part of the Work in Progress section. Sunburn was then premiered in Competition at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival. Since the 2014, The Open Reel is also focused in distributing in the Italian territory independent operas, through the VOD platform www.theopenreel.it
In 2015, The Open Reel won the Best Short Film Award at the Cannes Critics’ Week with Varicella by Italian Fulvio Risuleo and one year later it presented in the same section the Brazilian short Delusion Is Redemption to Those in Distress by Fellipe Fernandes. In 2016, also The Park by Damien Manivel (Acid) and Le Cancre by Paul Vecchiali (Official Selection – Special Screenings), completed our Cannes participation. The Open Reel took part in the Rotterdam International Film Festival in 2015 with The Bear’s Tales by Samuele Sestieri and Olmo Amato (Bright Future Competition). In 2017 and 2018 we were again in Rotterdam with William, The New Judo Master by Ricardo Silva and Omar Guzman (Bright Future Competition), and with The Flower Shop by Ruben Desiere (Bright Future Competition). With a penchant for documentaries The Open Reel reached, among others, the Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival in 2016 with In California, after it had its world premiere at IDFA, by Charles Redon (Stories to Tell), and again in 2017 with Upon the Shadow by Nada Mezni Hafaeidh (Human Rights), and, always in 2017, the DOK Leipzig with Paulistas by Daniel Nolasco (Next Masters Competition). At this last Festival, The Open Reel got another selection in 2018 with Cinema Morocco, by Ricardo Calil, also winner of Guadalajara and It’s All True festivals. Always in 2018, Figures by Eugenio Canevari competed in San Sebastian and Decembers, by Enrique Castro Ríos was awarded in Istanbul and Panama IFF
In 2018, The Open Reel was also representing Thirty Souls by Galician Diana Toucedo, part of the Berlinale Panorama selection. In the 2019, two more titles were selected at the same Festival: Querencia, by Helvecio Marins Jr. (Forum), later also winner of the Jeonju IFF and Brief Story from the Green Planet (Panorama), by Santiago Loza, winner of two Teddy Awards and awarded in several other film festivals, including Sitges IFF and Bafici. This last title was also part of the Acid selection at Cannes 2019. The 2019 was also significant for the debuts of Jaione Camborda, with her first feature Arima, awarded at the Seville EFF (New Waves) and João Maia, with the huge success of his feature Variações. Furthermore, Andrea Adriatico released is feature film Bitter Years, on the life of Italian gay intellectual, writer and activist Mario Mieli.
In 2020, Dry Wind by Daniel Nolasco was selected at the Berlinale, in the Panorama section and the first feature Coalesce by French Jessé Miceli was part of the Cannes Acid and of the Busan International Film Festival. The documentary Tierra Adentro by Mauro Colombo had its European premiere at the Rotterdam International Film Festival and Argentine We Will Never Die by Eduardo Crespo competed in San Sebastian. Short film Panthers by Erika Sanchez Marcos was part of the Berlinale Generation and short film J’ador by Simone Bozzelli won the Venice Critics’ Week. Other titles were also successfully premiered: A Stormy Night (Malaga IFF) by David Moragas and Asphalt Goddess by Julián Hernández (Morelia and La Havana festivals).
The 2021 marks the world premieres of our titles That Weekend by Mara Pescio at the San Sebastian Film Festival and 15 Hours by Judith Colell and Leading Ladies by Ruth Caudeli at the Malaga International Film Festival. German production Boy Meets Boyby Daniel Sanchez López scored multiple sales and had many festival screenings around the globe, including Molodist Kiev, where it was awarded in the Sunny Bunny Competition. Other prestigious world premiere happened for El Fulgor by Martín Farina (Mannheim International Film Festival, and awarded as Best Documentary at the Rome Independent Film Festival), The Red Tree by Joan Gómez Endara and What Went Wrong? by Liliana Torres (both in Competition at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival), Passion by Maja Borg (CPH: Copenhagen, Seville EFF, FNC Montréal) and What We Know by Jordi Núñez (Goa International Film Festival of India). Among shorts, Playtime by Simone Bozzelli had its debut in Locarno and won the Turin Film Festival and our short production It’s Just in My Head, by Marius Gabriel Stancu, had great results in terms of sales and distribution and participated at about 40 film festivals, including Frameline in San Francisco and Lovers in Turin.
The 2022 has been an year of important premieres: De noche los gatos son pardos by Swiss Valentin Merz made its debut in the Locarno Concorso Internazionale, getting a Special Mention, and travelling through festivals immediately after (Sao Paulo, Seville, Thessaloniki and, in this 2023, Berlin Critics’Week and Rotterdam). The new feature by Ruth Caudeli, Petit Mal, premiered in Tribeca and almost simultaneously in Gudalajara. After their debuts in Tallinn, The Red Tree by Joan Gómez Endara and What Went Wrong? by Liliana Torres continued their trip through festivals, appearing in important events such as Toulouse CineLatino (with 2 awards) and Biarrtiz for The Red Tree and Miami IFF for What Went Wrong? Another important events have been the festivals selection of Romanian/Sweden/Germany/Bulgarian co-production Man and Dog by Stefan Constantinescu (Goteborg, Transilvania IFF, Torino FF, Tbilisi IFF) and the world premiere at the Cairo International Film Festival of the North Macedonian/Serbian feature Things Unsaid, by Eleonora Veninova. At markets, features Like Me by Eyal Kantor (also premiered in Guadalajara) and Spanish/Italian A Dice With Five Sides by Riccardo Tamburini scored several sales together with other titles such as 8 Years by Jd Alcazar or Everthing at Once by Alberto Fuguet. Another key moment has been the world premiere as a Special Screening of the San Sebastian Film Festival of The Yellow Ceiling by Isabel Coixet (receiving 2 collateral awards ), now nominated at the Goya Awards in the Best Documentary category. Among shorts, Venus in Nykes by André Antônio was selected in Valdivia and at the Berlin Critics’ Week, Letizia by Francesco Manzato was awarded at the Rome Independent Film Festival with the Rai Cinema Channel Award and our new production The Anniversary, directed by Marius Gabriel Stancu made is debut at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival and at the Torino Film Festival a few days later, in both occasions in Competition.
In 2023, Swiss production De noche los gatos son pardos by Valentin Merz continued its trip trough important film festivals, including Rotterdam, and was sold in key territories such as North America, UK, Germany and Australia. Colombian feature Petit Mal by Ruth Caudeli continued its festivals and sales career and was released in the BeNeLux, German and French territories. We had many more festivals for the Catalan production The Yellow Ceiling by Isabel Coixet, also theatrically released in Mexico and Uruguay and for the Romanian co-production Man and Dog by Stefan Constantinescu that was also distributed in Poland.
After its premiere at the Tokyo Film Festival in 2022, Indian transgender title A Place of Our Own, directed by Ektara Collective, won the audience award at SXSW in Austin, participated at numerous film festivals, including Frameline in San Francisco, BFI Flare in London and LesGaiCineMad in Madrid (where it was also awarded) and was distributed in the North American territory. The US productions Barrio Boy by Dennis Shinners and Last Summer of Nathan Lee by Quentin Lee scored sales in key European and Australian territories, as well as Mexican production The Trace of Your Lips by Julián Hernández that, after its debut at Frameline in San Francisco, was sold in the North American territory, France, Australia, Uk and Germany. Polish Camper by Lukasz Suchocki and Argentine Elda and the Monsters by Nicolás Herzog were premiered at two important Latin American events, São Paulo and Mar del Plata and The Island, the new production by French Damien Manivel, after its premiere at FID in Marseille, participated to prestigious events such as San Sebastian, Yamagata, Valdivia, IDFA and Torino festivals. Galician feature Stroking an Animal by Ángel Filgueira was premiered at the D’A Film Festival in Barcelona and got sales in the North America and Italy territories; same sales happened to Brazilian documentary Acsexybility by Daniel Gonçalves, premiered at the Los Angeles Outfest and then awarded at the Festival do Rio. Switzerland/Italy documentary Lonely by Michele Pennetta made its debut in Zurich and Rome festivals and in Rome were also premiered Italian Solitude, It’s That by Andrea Adriatico and Marching People by Peter Marcias. Lesbian documentary Otherness by Nora Haddad and Alba Cros started its festival career and confirmed soon as one of the most programmed titles in the national and international LGBTQIA+ circuit, with also a nomination at the Catalan Gaudí Awards. Among shorts, My Pana by Santiago Giralt, The Anniversary by Marius Gabriel Stancu and Letizia by Francesco Manzato strengthened their festivals participation started in 2022, making also sales in different territories, including North America and South/South East Asia and BrazilianPedro Had a Horse by Daniel Nolasco made its festivals debut with awards at Mix Brasil in São Paulo and in Fortaleza.
The Open Reel (Italy) – Production Company
The Open Reel is also active on a production level, supporting upcoming projects or still in post-production. As a producer, The Open Reel co-produced the shorts An Afterthought by Matteo Bernardini (with the Torino Piemonte Film Commission fund), Studio and The Riddle by Francesco Dongiovanni. An Afterthoughtpremiered in Bucheon and Giffoni festivals, Studio and The Riddle were selected at the Torino Film Festival. The Open Reel was the associate producer of the short film Xavier by Ricky Mastro and the executive producer of the Italian/Brazil/US short title Just Past Noon on a Tuesday by Travis Mathews. We also co-produced the first feature film directed by Ricky Mastro, 7 minutes, that was selected to be part of the Sofia Meetings, during Sofia International Film Festival in 2019. The feature premiered at the Rome Independent Film Festival at the end of 2020, in Competition and scored several sales in key territories. In December 2020, our short production It’s Just un My Head, directed by Marius Gabriel Stancu, premiered at the same festival. Since then the short has had great results in terms of sales and distribution and has participated at about 50 film festivals, including Frameline in San Francisco and Lovers in Turin. In 2022, our new short production The Anniversary, again directed by Marius Gabriel Stancu made is debut at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival and at the Torino Film Festival a few days later, in both occasions in Competition.