EFM attendees pulled a steady market out of the bag despite the exchange rate, the customary early-year scramble to assemble new product and buyer reluctance to pull out wallets before Cannes.
That said, most of the sales agents arrived ready for fresh business and there were marquee titles in the mix, notably IM Global’s Hacksaw Ridge, Sierra/Affinity’s Gold, Protagonist’s Ben Wheatley action film Free Fire, Celluloid Dreams’ Taxi and Beta Cinema’s competition entry 13 Minutes.
Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions arrived in Berlin looking to buy and pounced on a slew of territories to Free Fire as several notable US deals bubbled to the surface.
Ambitious Broad Green Pictures committed $6.5m to Knight Of Cups and Terrence Malick’s untitled follow-up, while Lionsgate acquired Freehold and Sony Classics took North and Latin America on Hitler assassination thriller 13 Minutes.
“Very steady with the emphasis on the word ‘steady’, partly because of the usual Berlin grey zone between AFM and Cannes and the exchange rate,” was the assessment by IM Global chief Stuart Ford of his company’s performance. “But in most of the major territories distributors have come looking to buy, but not at any cost.”
Fortitude International partner and sales chief Nadine de Barros echoed the sentiment and stressed the need for reasonable prices. She reported solid business in Berlin on the Isabel Coixet romance This Man, This Woman and Keanu Reeves drama Daughter Of God, adding: “We have had very targeted movies.”
IFT head of sales Christian de Gallegos, who enjoyed strong business on Wake and the new Werner Herzog thriller Salt And Fire, noted that some of the larger deals were conducted in Euros to hedge against currency fluctuations.
Some attributed the dearth of Asian buyers pounding the corridors in Berlin to the belief that more Western companies are travelling to Filmart in March.