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Industry Report: Produce - Co-Produce...

2007 European Film Market
The right place to promote European films

by 

2007 European Film Market - The right place to promote European films

- The 2007 European Film Market (EFM) proved highly dynamic, with many professionals putting Berlin almost on par with Cannes in terms of importance.

Berlin catches up to Cannes

As usual, after a very busy first weekend for the 260 sellers and 878 buyers registered, business started to calm down by Tuesday for the market screenings. Overall, however, the 2007 European Film Market (EFM) proved highly dynamic, with many professionals putting Berlin almost on par with Cannes in terms of importance.

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

“Berlin is very well organised, at the centre of Europe and a key cultural centre”, said veteran Italian sales executive Adriana Chiesa. “The market, run professionally by Beki Probst, has always been key for us. Now that MIFED is gone, it is probably at the same level as Cannes and the right place to promote our European films”.

Pure buying and selling activity was indeed counterbalanced by nonstop production and financial meetings at the Martin Gropius Bau (MGB), Potsdamer Platz Business Offices, Ritz, Hyatt and Marriott hotels.

Even Wild Bunch’s ‘anti-Kosslick’ caravan, built specifically for the occasion and set up between the MGB and Potsdamer Platz, was a hot place to be, proving again that the right products bring right foot traffic and cash inflow.

The new documentary by Super Size Me director Morgan Spurlock, on Osama Ben Laden, was one of the most talked about titles around and cemented the trend of documentary as a genre with strong commercial appeal. Spurlock’s film, currently shooting in secrecy, was pre-sold almost everywhere, including to the UK (Optimum Releasing), France (Diaphana), Spain (Alta Films), Germany (Kinowelt) and Scandinavia (Scanbox).

Several other documentaries won over world buyers: Martin Scorsese's upcoming homage to the Rolling Stones on Fortissimo’s slate was snapped up by Kinowelt (Germany), Fox (UK, US and Australia), BIM (Italy), Wild Bunch (France) and Vertigo (Spain).

Katapult Film Sales continued to do business with Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait, sold to Germany (Kinowelt), Spain (Circulo) and Italy (Dolmen); BBC Worldwide’s Earth was acquired by Lionsgate (UK, US and Australia), Universum (Germany), Gaumont (France), Wanda (Spain), Frenetic (Switzerland) and Prooptiki (Greece); and Nordisk sold Asger Leth’s Ghost of Cité Soleil notably to the UK (Revolver Entertainment) and the US (ThinkFilm).

Another genre continued to prove popular: chiller films. On the commercial end, Spanish director Jose Antonio Bayona’s The Orphanage, co-produced by Guillermo del Toro, was pre-sold by Wild Bunch to Scandinavia (Triangelfilm) and the US (Picture House); Focus Features pre-sold Neil Marshall’s Doomsday to Portugal (Lusomundo), German speaking territories (Concorde), Greece (Odeon) and as part of a three-picture deal to France (SND) and Scandinavia (Scanbox).

Buyers hungry for quality children films could (as usual) visit the Scandinavian stand, but the hottest children film this year – animated title Lotte From Gadgetville [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(see article) – came from further north, Estonia and Latvia, to the satisfaction of Stuttgart-based seller Sola Media.

Non-US competition festival films had buyers almost crying famine during the first four days, but some later entries proved successful, such as David Mackenzie’s Hallam Foe [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, sold by Independent Film Sales to Germany/Austria (Prokino), Scandinavia (Nordisk), Greece (Rosebud) and Switzerland (Monopole Pathé); and Bavaria Film International sealed half a dozen sales on Jiri Menzel’s I Served the King of England [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, including Greece/Cyprus (Ama Films) and all of Latin America.

A handful of quality French auteur films were also snapped up by key territories, such as Lady Chatterley [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, sold by Films Distribution to the UK (Artificial Eye) and Scandinavia (Future Films), and Pierre Salvadori’s Priceless [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, sold by Wild Bunch to the UK (Icon), US (Samuel Goldwyn) and Scandinavia (NonStop).

“There are many more buyers from the US and Japan, which a couple of years ago was only represented by two or three buyers, is now here in force”, stressed Nordisk sales executive Susan Wendt, adding, “The whole world seems to be here now”.

This is excellent news for EFM organizers who in only two years (following MIFED’s self-destruction) have successfully managed to absorb the growing demand from professionals and restabilise the key film markets in the calendar year.

Another genre continued to prove popular: chiller films. On the commercial end, Spanish director Jose Antonio Bayona’s The Orphanage, co-produced by Guillermo del Toro, was pre-sold by Wild Bunch to Scandinavia (Triangelfilm) and the US (Picture House); Focus Features pre-sold Neil Marshall’s Doomsday to Portugal (Lusomundo), German speaking territories (Concorde), Greece (Odeon) and as part of a three-picture deal to France (SND) and Scandinavia (Scanbox).

Buyers hungry for quality children films could (as usual) visit the Scandinavian stand, but the hottest children film this year – animated title Lotte From Gadgetville [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(see article) – came from further north, Estonia and Latvia, to the satisfaction of Stuttgart-based seller Sola Media.

Non-US competition festival films had buyers almost crying famine during the first four days, but some later entries proved successful, such as David Mackenzie’s Hallam Foe [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, sold by Independent Film Sales to Germany/Austria (Prokino), Scandinavia (Nordisk), Greece (Rosebud) and Switzerland (Monopole Pathé); and Bavaria Film International sealed half a dozen sales on Jiri Menzel’s I Served the King of England [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, including Greece/Cyprus (Ama Films) and all of Latin America.

A handful of quality French auteur films were also snapped up by key territories, such as Lady Chatterley [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, sold by Films Distribution to the UK (Artificial Eye) and Scandinavia (Future Films), and Pierre Salvadori’s Priceless [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, sold by Wild Bunch to the UK (Icon), US (Samuel Goldwyn) and Scandinavia (NonStop).

“There are many more buyers from the US and Japan, which a couple of years ago was only represented by two or three buyers, is now here in force”, stressed Nordisk sales executive Susan Wendt, adding, “The whole world seems to be here now”.

This is excellent news for EFM organizers who in only two years (following MIFED’s self-destruction) have successfully managed to absorb the growing demand from professionals and restabilise the key film markets in the calendar year.

 

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