Pascal Diot • Responsabile Venice Production Bridge
"Non inseguiamo la quantità, ma la qualità"
- VENEZIA 2018: Mentre la Mostra di Venezia prende il via, abbiamo parlato con Pascal Diot, responsabile del Venice Production Bridge, dell'importante evento di settore italiano
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Since the Venice Production Bridge (VPB) was launched, the number of film professionals attending the event has almost doubled. The concept of the Venice Gap-Financing Market attracts many key decision makers and top executives. This year, more space is being dedicated to VR projects. Furthermore, compelling material can be discovered at the Book Adaptation Rights Market, while talent scouts will be keeping a close eye on the Final Cut workshop. VPB head Pascal Diot gives us an overview of the various activities taking place at this edition.
Cineuropa: What does the Venice Production Bridge offer to film professionals?
Pascal Diot: The Venice Production Bridge is first and foremost dedicated to producers, and thus offers a wide range of events, initiatives and services to them, but of course, we also provide the basic elements of an industry market to all of the other professionals, with dedicated spaces for sales agents and distributors (the Industry Club), a Business Center, Market Screenings (taking place in four theatres this year), a Digital Video Library operated this year in collaboration with Festival Scope and available on our online platform (veniceproductionbridge.org), and an Exhibition Area.
How are the projects selected for the Venice Gap-Financing Market?
A call for projects is launched in March, with a deadline set for the beginning of May, and we received 250 projects from all over the world. Our team reads and studies them all first to check that they match our criteria, and then we select 40 projects on the basis of quality only. After five years, we are proud to say that we are now attracting famous directors of the likes of Kiyoshi Kurosawa, David Wnendt, Anca Damian, Andrey Paounov, Hanna Polak, Juan Schnittman, Anna Eborn and Ahmad Ghossein, to name just a few.
What kind of contacts can film professionals expect to make at the third Book Adaptation Rights Market?
They will have the pleasure of meeting the publishers of Andrea Camilleri (Sellerio Editore, Italy), Boris Pasternak, Doris Lessing and Roberto Saviano (Feltrinelli Editore, Italy), Michel Bussi (Place des Editeurs, France), Liza Marklund, Jo Nesbo and Sofia Lundberg (Salomonsson Agency, Sweden), and many other publishers from the USA, Greece, Germany and the Netherlands.
What kind of support does Final Cut in Venice provide for filmmakers?
The workshop offers the opportunity to present films that are still in the production phase to international film professionals, in order to facilitate their post-production and promote co-production partnerships and film-market access. Final Cut in Venice consists of three days of activities, during which the working copies of a maximum of six selected films are introduced to producers, buyers, distributors and film-festival programmers. This year, a special one-to-one meeting session between the selected projects and the professionals attending the Venice Production Bridge will be organised on 3 September. Final Cut in Venice will conclude with the awarding of 14 prizes, in kind or in cash, intended to support the films financially in their post-production phase.
Are VR projects becoming more important for the market?
Yes; following last year’s first VR competition within the Venice International Film Festival and the VR Island, we have decided to dedicate even more space to VR projects within the Venice Gap-Financing Market, with 15 selected projects plus the six VR projects coming from the Biennale College Cinema VR. In addition, we will have several panels detailing the Screen Brussels incentives for films and VR, and another one on VR distribution and business models.
How is the Venice Production Bridge progressing in terms of attendance?
In 2012, for the first edition of the VFM, we had 1,100 professionals, and last year, we had just over 2,100, which is almost double, so we can safely say that the VPB has enjoyed a steady and significant increase in attendance levels over those six years. At the same time, we aren’t chasing quantity, but quality, and what is important at Venice is that the VPB is attended by key decision makers and top executives.
Several film professionals are heading from Venice directly to Toronto. How do you deal with that? Are there any cooperation possibilities?
Right from year one, seven years ago, we decided to operate the VPB at the beginning of the festival, thus allowing the professionals to go from Venice to Toronto without any overlap. We even help those sales agents who have films selected which will be shown during the second half of the festival to organise private screenings during the VPB so that they can be sure to reach all of the distributors attending the market.
How do you see the future of film markets in general in the age of streaming services?
Film markets will always exist because even though you can now watch a film via a video link or a streaming service, you will always need to meet your counterpart, and this is especially the case for our core audience, who are producers. You can’t develop an international co-production without spending time with your co-producer, your sales agents and your investors.
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