The Perfect Candidate
17 April 2020
Due to cinema closures amid the Covid-19 crisis Modern Films’ theatrical release of Saudi feature film THE PERFECT CANDIDATE by Haifaa Al Mansour (Wadjda) on 27th March went ahead as premium VOD release. Digital exhibition partners are the Curzon Home Cinema platform, the BFI Player, who supported the film through their Lottery-funded Audience Fund, and on Modern Film's own streaming platform. With a campaign well under way this decisive move allowed Premier to ensure planned publicity successfully pivoted to the new direction and momentum was not lost. At a moment of rapid realignment for film press and media in general, the response to this move was entirely positive, support which further energised the campaign upon the films digital release.
The campaign saw Haifaa attend the Glasgow Film Festival, and on International Women’s Day a BFI Screening and Q+A around which a press day was organised securing coverage including The Guardian Film & Music, Another Online and a social partnership with Girls On Top Tees. Other coverage included Little White Lies, Porter and British GQ while the positive national review coverage was realigned to reflect the VOD release, receiving often lead review placement.
Modern Films also launched an initiative to support independent cinemas nationwide. On their website (modernfilms.com) that includes a streaming platform, a drop-down menu at point of purchase allows viewers to select and support a local cinema of their choice. Part of the proceeds go directly back to the cinema. There are 22 cinema partners, all of whom had previously programmed THE PERFECT CANDIDATE for a theatrical run and are keen to keep their membership base and mailing lists active around new releases. Premier secured trade coverage of both announcements and sought support from regional publications relevant to the individual local cinemas.