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Industry Insights: IMRUN ISLAM


Imrun is a Senior Manager in content distribution, acquisition and negotiation – specialising in Film and TV content distribution for all VOD rights, and Account Management for digital platforms. Imrun moved into sales, learning about content distribution at Content Media. After a few years at Disney Media Distribution, negotiating and managing key TVOD/EST distribution deals, Imrun now manages the Transactional and SVOD business for the UK and Ireland for Studiocanal.

Why do you think you are a Senior Manager, Digital Sales?

I fell into sales by accident years ago because I wanted to have a more sociable role in distribution.  I really enjoy the people management side of sales, the relationship building, the negotiation, the tête-à-tête, it’s thrilling at times.  I do have a commercially analytical mind, I like looking at distribution and sales from all perspectives which makes me suited to content distribution.  You always need that flexibility of mindset.

What’s your elevator pitch to describe the kind of films and/or filmmakers you like working with the most?

One of the main reasons why I love working for Studiocanal is the breadth of films we make.  We are focussed on making great British films, with recognised talent and filmmakers, great storytelling and committed to restoring British cinematic heritage.

What is it about such material or teams that you find the most inspiring?

What I find most inspiring is the commitment to telling authentic British stories.

Paddington is a great example of the coordination of great talent, writers, directors, crew on the film, and theatrical, marketing, legal, servicing and sales teams on the business side.  We all work together in a tight ship to deliver such fantastic brands to the market in hugely successful films in every window.

If forced to give one tip to new people coming through what would it be?

Don’t be afraid to get stuck in, ask questions, be visible.  It’s hard to cut through all the noise in this industry so being tenacious and interested will make you stand out.

And what pitfall would you say is essential to avoid in your sector when starting out?

Distribution is changing all the time, I would avoid getting stuck in one way of thinking.  Often some of the best ideas come from looking at things from an outside perspective, as an acquisitions person, corporate business or consumer level.

Tell us about where you come from or where you live now and how it filters into your work?

I currently live in Bromley, Kent and spent a decade in West London.  My home location doesn’t affect where I work, it takes a little longer to get to Kings Cross but doesn’t change the way I do things.  If anything, I prefer living away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Tell us about the latest film / exhibition / book / public figure / article to have inspired you?

The last film that really inspired me personally is Call Me By Your Name.  While considered Marmite for some, it really hit home on a deeper level to me.  The lyrical nature of the script, the delicious setting, the charming portrayal of young love from two fantastic actors.  It really made me proud to be in an industry that makes beautiful stories.

What frustrates you about what you do?

Not a lot frustrates me about what I do, I love my job.  Distribution is ever changing, so if you aren’t on top of all the changes, you can get left behind very quickly.

How do you overcome this?

I have always pushed through, no matter how hard it become and how many walls were put up in front of me.

Do you believe in the ‘female gaze’ and what does that mean to you?

I do believe in the female gaze although you don’t see many examples of it in film as great as in TV like hit series Fleabag or Insecure.  More and more female film makers are getting recognition in a male dominated world which is a great start, but we are nowhere near equality given how vast the industry is.

Parting shot – Why are programmes like FUTURE LEADERS IN DISTRIBUTION important to you and what does gender equality in film and society mean to you?

This programme is very important to me, to be part of a group of talented and focussed women in the industry, these connections are invaluable.  Gender equality is a long battle that we should all be focussed on making easier for all.  It can only benefit everyone if we are all treated with the same kindness and respect.  Film is a visual representation of our world and it’s all our responsibility to depict that equality on and off screen.


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