Eve Gabereau started her career studying politics and languages, which took her to working in cultural affairs in Japan and China, before moving into film festivals and journalism. Next, in 2002, Eve co-founded Soda Pictures, a London-based independent film distribution company that now releases more than 25 films a year and boasts a library of over 300 titles. In 2017, Eve left Soda to setup Modern Films, a female-driven film company with a purpose. We spoke with Eve about her commitment to telling women’s stories, to promoting films with a purpose, and how she’s recalibrating the way films are released in the UK.
YOU DESCRIBE MODERN FULMS AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO THE TRADITIONAL MODEL OF TILM DISTRIBUTION. EXPLAIN?
I'm not sure we're reinventing the model, but I do feel our approach is fresh and driven by having fewer but strong films on our slate, innovation in our campaigns and strategic partnerships tailored to each release. Our team is made up of a range of people from different backgrounds, all focused on bringing culture and commerce together and balancing aesthetics and ethics. We are working to create dialogue around important social issues of our time through critically acclaimed films and impassioned discussion at events and online - using the theatrical space as a springboard for the film's identity and building audiences across other viewing platforms.
CAN YOU TALK TO ME ABOUT YOUR COMMITMENT TO INDEPENDENT CINEMA THROUGHOUT YOUR CAREER?
I am firmly committed to independent cinema and its place in the world to bring light to social issues, expand people's world views through good storytelling and build art appreciation through a well-crafted film. I want people to want to go to the cinema and to feel like they are part of a greater story afterwards. For me, releasing the German break-out hit and Oscar-nominee Toni Erdmann was the epitome of this and the best example of why I do what I do.
CAN YOU ALSO SPEAK TO YOUR COMMITMENT TO SHARING WOEMN'S STORIES AND WOMEN'S VOICES AS YOU GROW MODERN FILMS?
We are committed to showing and telling women's stories through film because there is so much great writing out there and so much incredible talent who we want to work with. But our commitment is also to quality and strong voices, and the possibility of a film breaking out to audiences. We are also committed to speaking out to younger, particularly female, audiences, to encourage them to watch more, go out more in groups and talk as much as they can about issues that matter to them and to the wider world out there.
CAN YOU REVEAL ANYTHING ABOUT THE FILMS YOU ARE SET OT RELEASE OVER THE NEXT FEW MONTHS?
Upcoming we have films from two films from extraordinary female voices in cinema: 3 Days in Quiberon by Emily Atef and Happy as Lazzaro by Alice Rohrwacher. 3 Days is the story of a tell-all interview at a spa hotel in Northern France in 1981, with the legendary actress Romy Schneider. She sadly could never escape her personal demons, despite her beauty and success. This film shows a glimpse of hope and promise in her life. while also revealing the darker side of her sadness and trauma. Happy as Lazzaro is Rohrwacher's third feature and it won Best Screenplay at Cannes this year under the jury headed by Cate Blanchett. It is a time- and space-travel tale of a friendship spanning traditional countryside and contemporary urban culture in Italy.
In February, we have the Scandi genre-bending romantic thriller Border by the writer of Let the Right One In, which is Sweden's entry for the Oscars this year. We are particularly excited about this film and the way audiences react to its commitment to questioning notions of beauty, love and immigration, while at the same time indulging in the tropes of Nordic Noir that people have come to follow and be crazy about.