Mariela Besuievsky, Peter Gerard to keynote Strategic Partners

"She's been through the trenches," Strategic Partners' Laura MacKenzie tells Playback of booking Spanish film producer Besuievsky to keynote the 2014 event.
02-01-12 Strategic Partners

Spanish film producer Mariela Besuievsky of Tornasol Films shared in the 2010 Academy Award for best foreign language film with the Argentine thriller The Secret in Their Eyes, a Spain-Argentina coproduction.

So Strategic Partners director Laura MacKenzie concluded Besuievsky’s track record made her the perfect choice to be a keynote speaker at her upcoming coproduction conference in Halifax, given the event’s spotlight on Spain, Latin America and the U.S. market.

“She’s been through the trenches,” MacKenzie told Playback Daily on Monday, emphasizing recent years in which the Spanish film industry has followed that country’s wider economy into a severe recession.

“Economically, Spain has been on a downwards spiral, so that’s why coproductions are so important to them right now,” she added.

And with an eye to new digital buyers increasingly figuring in the emerging indie film model, MacKenzie also booked as a Strategic Partners keynote speaker Peter Gerard, Vimeo’s director of audience development and content operations.

Gerard founded Accidental Media in Edinburgh and landed on MacKenzie’s radar after launching Distrify in 2010 to encourage direct-to-fan digital film sales.

Then he recently moved to New York to join Vimeo as it increasingly acquires original content as it builds its Vimeo On Demand catalogue.

“We’re not excluding traditional buyers. But we have to integrate new buyers,” MacKenzie insisted, as Strategic Partners looks to keep pace with emerging industry trends.

The Strategic Partners conference is set to run Sept. 11 to 14, 2014, in Halifax during the Atlantic Film Festival.