We may be living through times of unprecedented change, but in uncertainty lies the power to influence the future of storytelling.
Now is not the time to despair, but to act and interact!
Please introduce yourself in a few words? What’s your current position ? What is your company main activity ?
My name is Robert Salvestrin and I am the CEO of Lucky You. I have been working in the industry for around 15 years in different positions and missions; but mostly in charge of financing research and the distribution of TV documentaries. I created Lucky You in 2014, in partnership with French producer Bonne Pioche, and represent some documentaries from around 40 international productions companies. Our catalogue has been growing steadily, and now contains over 600 hours of documentaries, one-offs and series.
We work regularly with the international main players, and some of our documentaries have made remarkable big headlines and huge ratings for both TV broadcasters and platforms. In 2019, Lucky You was awarded the Prix Export for French Best Distributor of Documentaries.
Documentary distributors are venturing into a largely disrupted period as the COVID-19 pandemic upends production activities across the globe. How are you impacted?
The COVID-19 pandemic has had and is going to have much impact on the distribution business. At first, cancellations of markets and travel restrictions are hampering the traditional marketing strategies – based on events, meetings and person-to-person contact.In the short term, the lockdown has slowed down the completion of several documentaries the decision-making process for some TV companies, blowing up the sales expectations of the year.
In the long term, we distributors, may have more difficulty in getting fresh content as the delivery dates of ongoing productions are uncertain, while there is a drop of TV commissions for new productions.Having said that, there is still little hope for distributors to increase the sales of older content in the short term, because of the need of programs anyway.
How has your international acquisition/sales and/or coproduction strategies evolved as a result of the current situation?
The lockdown has shown that a strong online presence is key: a well performing website, newsletters, social media are the base of a solid distribution strategy. While it may also affect the prioritization in the selection of markets and festivals to attend, and the plan for future business trips.