The second running of the Bangkok Film Market (BFM) earnedwarm plaudits from many of the participants.
While claims that the event would generate $250m of salesbusiness were always highly dubious and the volume of corridor traffic droppedsharply after day one, it seems that the site of business shifted away from themarket itself and to the Bangkok river-front and hotel pool-sides.
'We came here expecting nothing and have been surprisedto find ourselves signing deals with local and international buyers on all ofour new films,' said Danny Dimbort, co-chief of US group NuImage/Millennium Films. 'On the strength of this we are now seriouslythinking of coming back to the region for FilMart in March.' Titles soldin the region included Neil LaBute-directed Wicker Man and John Travolta-starring Lonely Hearts.
Dimbort said he had also completed deals at the market withGermany's EMS and had sold the Brian De Palma-directed ScarlettJohanssen-starring Black Dahlia toScanbox for Scandinavia.
Ida Martins of Germany's Media Luna said three of her filmsincluding Cowboys and NineLives had been licensed to Thaidistributors, while Bonjour MonsieurShlomi was licensed toSingapore's Lighthouse. 'The market was bigger and better than last year.There were more meetings and the seriousness of the buyers was good. I'll beback next year.'
Kaleidoscope Entertainment, one of India's leadingindependent producers, also found the market a profitable journey. It licensedMacbeth adaptation Maqbool and callcentre drama American Daylight toSingapore's Tiger Films. 'They are definitely making good ground here. Wehave done deals here, but it has also been about constructive relationshipbuilding. The market has given us access to companies from South East Asia,Japan, the US, Canada, Germany and Hong Kong,' said executive Puja Bedi.
The buying activities were complemented by a series of'power breakfasts' hosted by the likes of veteran seller Pierre Davidof Imagination Worldwide, and smaller workshops with indie legends Andy Vajna(on the subject of sales techniques), Mario Kassar (on film packaging) and LewHorwitz (on banking).
There were criticisms about the imbalance between thenumerous sellers and the fewer high-powered buyers from Europe and the US. Buthow much of this was under the BFM's control is harder to judge.
While the Indian Ocean tsunami had no direct impact on Eastcoast Bangkok it may kept a few participants away from the market. There werecalls too from some of the visiting foreign players for more formalintroductions and meet the industry sessions between Thais and foreigners.