Kath & Kimderella: the international sales strategy
Screen Australia usually insists that a traditional theatrical international sales agent is attached to the features in which it invests but it did not for Kath & Kimderella. Instead, sales are being handled by Royalty & Distribution Services, an existing company associated with the producers.
“Was there lots of discussion? Absolutely. But did we prove our case? Absolutely.” So says producer Rick McKenna about the negotiations with Screen Australia.
He argues that if the usual international film sales path had been followed, Kath & Kimderella would have been promoted at “two possibly three” markets, before the sales agent moved on to the next new thing. This way, the title will be exploited much more thoroughly by people closely involved in its production.
He says he has encountered a lot of interest in the film and a lot of awareness of the brand, but ultimately everyone says the same thing: “We love you like a brother but show us the film.”
McKenna signed on with Roadshow Films for local theatrical distribution because of a “terrific and harmonious” relationship with Chris Chard, managing director of Roadshow Entertainment, the home entertainment division.
Asked about how the film was financed, McKenna says: “Kath would say ‘We have a veritable potpourri of investors’. Seriously, all are long-term partners including Screen Australia, [Network] Seven, Roadshow and the Australian Taxation Commissioner.”
Kath & Kim was born in the mid-1990s as a sketch comedy skit on Big Girl’s Blouse on Seven, which screened series four in 2007 and the US remake.
He confirms that both Riley Turner Filums and Rick McKenna Entertainment have invested over and above the Producer Offset.
“If we had not we would not have kept control and would have been subject to script approval beyond what is a necessary and appropriate requirement of the investment from Screen Australia.”
Besides the conviction that the team had found a good idea that suited the big screen, he also felt the time was right to make a feature because of the number of senior industry players who kept asking for more Kath & Kim.