Name: Simon Bobin
Title: Vice President, International Distribution
Having overseen the international release of “Paddington”, the highest grossing non-US studio family title ever, it is understandable that an animated film like ‘‘An American Tail’ should have been Simon Bobin’s first cinema memory from when he was just five years old. “I was captivated by the storytelling and great characters,” recalls Bobin, the Vice President of International Distribution at StudioCanal. “It may seem dated now but at the time that movie really stayed with me.”
Having spent his first decade in the motion picture industry at Paramount and Sony Pictures, Bobin was fortunate to have had mentors at both companies. “Leslie Pound (SVP International Marketing at Paramount Pictures) was my first boss in the film industry and was my great mentor,” says Bobin. “He was a true gentleman, an outstanding executive and one of the nicest people you will ever meet.” Mark Braddel, the Senior Vice President of Sales EMEA at Sony Pictures was also a strong guiding hand during his time at Sony. Bobin also cites Anna Marsh and Rodolphe Buet as his key influencers at StudioCanal.
Given consumers’ wealth of entertainment options Simon feels that “we have a responsibility as film producers and distributors to create movies that can connect with audiences on a visceral level, whether through high emotion or great spectacle.” He also believes the industry should get around the table to “thrash out a unified stance” on issues such as the Screening Room, “especially when its implications are so huge across our business.”
What takes up the most time in his current position? “You mean aside from the endless meetings and hundreds of emails every day,” he half jokes. “I would say it’s keeping in touch with our distribution partners around the world, discussing release strategy with the StudioCanal operating territories (UK, France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand) and also keeping our producers up to date regarding distribution plans and box office.”
Simon will be at CineEurope where he is co-hosting the StudioCanal product presentation on Monday, June 20th at 2:30pm, but is not sure where he sees himself in the future. “If you had told me three years ago that in 2016 I would be head of international distribution for StudioCanal living and working in Paris I would have said you were crazy, so you just never know what’s around the corner, let alone ten years from now!”