What’s acquisitions you ask? Well, it’s a very important part of what makes it possible for you to sit down in a theatre and watch what may very well be your new favourite movie. In fact, it sort of sounds like a dream job for a film geek since acquisitions involves scouring the globe (from film festivals to book stores to anywhere someone with a great undeveloped screenplay might be hiding) to find projects to distribute to the movie ticket-buying public.
Caroline Habib has been with Mongrel Media–one of Canada’s leading film distribution companies specializing in art house, foreign and independent feature films and documentaries–since 2008 making her part of the team that brought films like the Oscar-nominated Amour and Searching for Sugar Man as well as upcoming doc Room 237 to Canada.
You might also may see her searching out the next gem at this year’s Hot Docs Film Festival, which starts today.
Name: Caroline Habib
Occupation: Manager of Acquisitions & Broadcast Sales at Mongrel Media
Describe your job in 10 words or less: Read & screen & buy & sell & repeat.
Describe what led you to this job:
I always enjoyed the idea of curating – so figured I would end up either in an acquisitions or programming role. It’s a privilege to get to pick what people can see (or at the very least, be a part of that process).
Describe a typical day at the office:
Many different parts of my brain get activated in one day: I could read part of a script or screen part of a film. I could prepare an availability list for a broadcaster who wants to buy some of our films (TMN, CBC, etc). I could go over a bunch of acquisitions contracts to make sure we are getting the best deals possible, then send notes. My colleagues and I could have an acquisitions meeting where we’ll discuss the potential titles we can take on at Mongrel (scripts or finished films) and whether or not they are worth picking up (and for how much). But mostly, I just email all day, like everyone else in the modern world.
What do you like best about your job?
TIFF – it encompasses everything I love about my job. Watching films, celebrating films, connecting with people who love film, deal making (films!)… It’s the best time of the year for our industry.
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Making calls on what will work or not on the market. If only it were a science!
Advice for people who might want to get in to doing what you do?
Just believe that you can do it, then convincingly tell people you can. And watch a lot of movies.
Name your favourite movie genre and why you like it:
Documentaries – you learn while being entertained, the best of both worlds.
Favourite Canadian film or filmmaker? I can’t play favorites!
Movie snack: sweet or savoury? Hardest questions I’ve ever had to answer. Both!
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