Mubi, the arthouse streaming platform, has been making waves at Cannes this year, acquiring four titles including Aki Kaurismäki’s competition entry, Fallen Leaves. The deal, which covers North America, the UK, Ireland, Latin America and Turkey, was made with Mubi’s own sales subsidiary, The Match Factory. Additionally, Mubi has snapped up the Chilean revisionist Western, The Settlers, for multiple international territories and North America and UK rights to Rodrigo Moreno’s Argentinian comedy-drama The Delinquents. The streaming service has also secured all rights for North America, the UK, Ireland, Italy, Latin America, Turkey and Benelux for How to Have Sex, the debut feature by Molly Manning Walker. Mubi intends to give certain titles a theatrical release in selected territories alongside online streaming.
Kaurismäki’s Fallen Leaves marks Mubi’s fourth high-profile acquisition at Cannes, a festival that the platform has a history of leveraging to acquire standout titles. The 20th film by the Finnish filmmaker, Fallen Leaves has been a hit with audiences at Cannes, a charming, crowd-pleasing dramedy following the life of a Syrian asylum seeker in Helsinki. Having previously won the Grand Jury prize in 2002 and the FiPRESCI international film critics’ prize in 2011, Kaurismäki’s latest offering has been met with similar acclaim, which has undoubtedly contributed to Mubi’s eagerness to acquire the streaming rights.
The Settlers was another big get for Mubi. A revisionist Western, the Chilean feature aims to shed light on its country’s colonial past through an engaging, suspenseful tale. Felipe Gálvez, the film’s director, presents the audience with shocking and uncomfortable truths about how the supposed ‘wild west’ of Chile was nothing more than a playground for colonial oppression. Mubi’s acquisition strategy aligns with its aim to offer its subscribers a collection of high-quality, thought-provoking films from around the world.
Rodrigo Moreno’s Argentinian comedy-drama, The Delinquents, which was snapped up by Mubi for several international territories, follows the life of a group of friends in their quest to find employment in modern-day Buenos Aires. The film explores the lives of young people and their struggles against the oppressive capitalist system. The Delinquents explores key themes of frustration, unemployment, and politics, and has already been hailed as a standout in this year’s festival.
Mubi’s acquisition of How to Have Sex at Cannes is yet another example of the company’s strategy of acquiring independent, thought-provoking films that other streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon might not have in their library. The debut feature by Molly Manning Walker premiered at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section, which features films that are bold and unconventional in their storytelling style. How to Have Sex is a frank and bold exploration of sexual assault and its aftermath, prompting crucial discussions around the subject.
At Cannes, Mubi has been expanding its portfolio of international and arthouse cinema, adding to its growing library, and enhancing its presence in the global streaming market. Compared to other streaming platforms, Mubi tends to operate on a selective and curated principle, offering its audiences a carefully chosen selection of films. This approach has proven to be lucrative for the service, who has seen its subscriber base grow in recent years, reaching audiences who value lesser-known, thought-provoking cinema from around the world.
Moving forward, it is clear that Mubi’s acquisition strategy is focused on acquiring standout cinema from international markets. While its competitors continue to focus on producing original content and big-budget films, Mubi continues to scour the world’s film festivals and distributors, selecting films that appeal to its core audience. By doing so, the platform is carving itself a niche in the highly competitive streaming market, one careful acquisition at a time.